PROFESSOR ANDREW JEFFS
Most processing factories for mussels in New Zealand, the mussels are brought in, they’re inspected to make sure they’re clean. Any broken mussels get removed, and only the clean good-quality mussels are then sent through to processing.
Normally, they’re lightly cooked usually with a steaming, and that’s just enough open up the mussels so that one of the shells can be removed. They are then put through what’s called a de-bearder. Mussels extrude threads which they use to cling onto ropes or onto the rocks in the wild, and the de-bearder just basically removes those threads because they’re not very nice to eat, in fact, you can’t eat them. The mussels are then sent through a freezing plant where they are snap frozen quickly to preserve the goodness and to make sure they’re good quality.
So typically in a mussel plant, there’s testing along the way to make sure that the quality standards are maintained.
Professor Andrew Jeffs, Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.
Just the Job, Dave Mason Productions, www.justthejob.co.nz .