Main content area

Evaluation of the processing of Perna perna mussels: the influence of water quality involved in the cooling operations in the physico‐chemical and microbiological characteristics of the product

de Lima, Marieli, Melo, Maria Carolina Lampert, Monteiro, Alcilene Rodrigues
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2013 v.93 no.13 pp. 3322-3329
Clostridium botulinum, Perna perna, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Vibrio, coliform bacteria, cooling, good manufacturing practices, heat, ice, mussels, shelf life, water quality, Brazil
BACKGROUND: The state of Santa Catarina in Brazil is a large producer of Perna perna mussels. However, raw and processed mussels have a short shelf life because of their high microbiological count, such as Vibrio spp. This study evaluated the microbiological and physicochemical quality of raw and ready‐to‐eat mussels and the quality of water and ice used in the processing of mussels. RESULTS: The microbiological conditions of water and ice used in the processing are not in accordance with Brazilian legislation because of the presence of coliforms and Vibrio spp. For ready‐to‐eat mussels, counts of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic micro‐organisms reached 10⁵ colony‐forming units g⁻¹, a value close to the onset of product degradation during storage. Counts of coliforms, coagulase‐positive Staphylococcus, Salmonella spp. and sulfite‐reducing Clostridium in the mussels analysed during processing are in accordance with Brazilian law. The F value for the sterilisation procedure was lower than that required for Clostridium botulinum. CONCLUSION: The study shows that microbiological cross‐contamination occurred during the processing of mussels. Rigorous control is necessary from the production area of mussels to retailers. Good manufacturing practices must be implemented in the industry and cross‐contamination avoided, mainly by Vibrio spp. after heat treatment.© 2013 Society of Chemical Industry