This project verified the developed technologies, such as low temperature live handling, blanching, and acid pre-treatment to produce chilled and frozen mussels, to come up with a protocol for commercial-scale production. It was a scaled-down version of the commercial operation which aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the developed technology when running in bigger volumes. Verified and optimized process for pilot-scale production of 100 kg and 200 kg mussel input showed that processing from cleaning, sorting, blanching, half-shelled, debyssing/shucking, and acid pre-treatment, would result in 20.10% to 68.10% weight recovery of the end product.
Product characteristics, nutritional value, and shelf life of chilled and frozen blanched mussels were determined. Blanching and the addition of treatment such as citric acid in the mussels lowered its pH level, prolonged the shelf life, and reduced the number of microorganisms. Pre-treatment also eradicated the presence of Salmonella sp. and Vibrio cholerae, while the count of lactic acid bacteria and V. parahaemolyticus was reduced. With this, the project optimized processing protocols for the following mussel products: frozen whole blanched mussel, frozen half-shell blanched mussel, frozen shucked blanched mussel meat, and chilled whole blanched mussel. These offer alternative value-added products for the consumers/market.