Mussel production. (Photo Credit: wikifaunia.com)
Improvements proposed for mussel production chain
Friday, March 08, 2013, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the Department of Chemical and Food Engineering of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) aims to add value to the mussels produced in the state and provide producers with new marketing alternatives.
One of the research projects was presented in the Finep/Seabre programme and executed by the Foundation for the Support of Research and University Extension (Fapeu), in agreement with the Municipal Association of Aquaculture of Palhoça and the companies Cavalo Marinho Criação e Beneficiamento of Frutos do Mar Ltda and Pratic Chef Cozinha Industrial Ltda.
The researchers evaluated the mollusc transformation and conservation processes in the participating companies and controlled the quality of the specimens and of the water that was used during the procedure by physical-chemical and microbiological tests.
The washing, chipping, packing and cooling phases were also assessed.
According to João Borges Laurindo, the project professor and coordinator, "one of the main achievements was to learn about the producers’ duties, which showed us the steps that reduce the shelf life of the mussel," the UFSC reported.
"Finep/Seabre project shared knowledge that is essential in the search for new products and generated a research line," the researcher added.
During the study developed to extend the shelf life of the mussels, the following was investigated:
- The mollusc lyophilization, a dehydration technique aimed to facilitate dehydrated mussels trade, which can be used in soup and stew, pizzas and sandwiches;
- Mollusc treatment in salt solution: a system for thermal packaging pasteurization and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) at high pressure to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in molluscs.
According to the researchers, the results show different possibilities of implementing technology and of creating new products from mariculture.
The Santa Catarina state produces about 90 per cent of the mussels and oysters from Brazil, Borges Laurino stressed.
By Analia Murias