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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13F529 UCD (Teagasc) €599,983

Project Title:

Adding value to ready to eat crustacean products by improving their quality, safety and shelf life using enhanced conventional and novel processing methods

Project Coordinator:

Dr James Lyng

Project Abstract

The majority of crab landed in Ireland is exported within the EU, though there is increasing demand from outside the EU (particularly from China) for this product. 2011 figures show 42% exported fresh, 58% frozen and only 1% prepared. Thus great potential exists to add value to this product. In-port crab processing involves procedures in existence for generations. Considerable scope for process optimisation (and quality enhancement) exists at 3 stages:

  1. Initial processing (e.g. minimising cook-loss through clean-label-ingredient incorporation and novel methods for cook-loss-exudate removal during boiling, potential eliminating post-cook-washing and subsequent pasteurisation);
  2. Heat processing (optimising conditions to ensure microbiologically safe products while reducing heat-induced negative impact on quality);
  3. Packaging.

The project will optimise the above stages and will focus on (a) entire unfrozen-crab and (b) a particulate-crab foodstuff (e.g. crab chowder/stock/pate/soup). Current Irish products will be compared to state-of-the-art competitor products in terms of instrumental/sensory/nutritional quality, shelf life, microbial safety. The effectiveness of optimisation of the 3 stages above will be assessed to ascertain the gains over current and aspirational products. The main outcomes will be optimised readily adoptable manufacturing protocols which will maximise the quality of Irish exported crab and an improvement in the industry/science interface.

Final Report:

Not available yet.