Thursday, 19 February 2009

Eat the unopened mussels too
― and save mussels from over-fishing

From an experiment in order to bust the stubborn myth that unopened mussels are dangerous to eat...

[S]ome 11.5 per cent of mussels remained closed after a so-called "normal" cooking time.

When [forced] open with a knife, every single one was both adequately cooked and safe to eat.

So, [...] even if the adductor muscles refuse to bow to the heat, the meat is still safe to eat.

But [when cooked] for a further 90 seconds, about one-seventh of them still remained shut.

And in the mussels that finally did open, thanks to the overcooking, the meat was now shrunken and tough.

The best way to check the safety of mussels is to check them before you cook them.

Mussels have such a small mass that if they are invaded by a pathogen or germ, they will be overwhelmed almost immediately, and will smell bad.

If we use the experimental evidence, and stop throwing out cooked mussels that stubbornly refuse to open, we can stop wasting each year some 370 tonnes of perfectly good seafood worth around $3 million.

So use a little brain muscle, and put the mussel where your mouth is.

by Karl S. Kruszelnicki
from 'Mussel myth an open and shut case'
on ABC Science (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

No comments: