The objective of this work was to evaluate integrated processes of cooking and vacuum cooling of mussels. Thus, the following alternatives were assessed: vapor cooking followed by vacuum cooling (VCk‐VC) and water immersion cooking followed by vacuum cooling with the samples immersed in the cooking water (ICk‐IVC). Such alternatives were compared with a conventional process of vapor cooking followed by water immersion cooling (VCk‐IC). The time to cool the samples until 10C was similar for the VCk‐VC and VCk‐IC processes, while for the ICk‐IVC process, the cooling time was much higher. However, the samples submitted to the VCk‐VC process presented a cooling weight loss in contrast to the weight gains observed for samples treated using the ICk‐IVC and VCk‐IC processes. On the other hand, the samples submitted to the VCk‐VC process presented lower counts of mesophiles and psychrotrophs during cold storage than samples treated using the conventional process.5, 2011.
Mussels are the most abundant cultivated shellfish in Brazil and are marketed as fresh or as processed product. At the initial steps of industrial processing, mussels are cooked and cooled to manual extraction of the meat from the shell. The cooling is classically accomplished by immersion of the cooked mussels in cold water, which is a critical step because cooling water and ice can cause recontamination of the cooked product. In this way, the present paper reported an alternative to process mussels using the vacuum cooling technique. The obtained results showed that the microbiological quality of vacuum‐cooled mussels was superior to that of conventional cooled ones.