Date of Award


Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food and Nutrition Sciences


Denise Skonberg

Second Committee Member

Alfred A. Bushway

Third Committee Member

Mary Ellen Camire


Almost three and a half million pounds of Atlantic Rock and Jonah crab, having a value of almost $1 million, are landed annually in Maine. These landings generate approximately 2.5 million pounds of post-processing waste each year. The by-product consists mainly of shell, viscera, and unpicked meat. Mechanical separation of crustacean by-product can result in an additional 15-20% food grade minced meat, which can be utilized to produce value-added products for human consumption. One such product that may be enhanced by crab mince is fiesh pasta. Americans are eating more pasta than ever before and eesh pasta consumption is very popular. The development of a crab mince- containing seafood-flavored pasta would not only provide a gourmet flair and a more nutritionally balanced meal, but also utilize high quality crab meat that is typically discarded. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine the mechanical feasibility, yield, nutrient composition, and quality of crab mince; 2) evaluate the effects of sodium lactate, lactic acid, rosemary, and diacetyl on the chemical and microbial quality of refrigerated crab mince; 3) determine if fresh pastas containing different concentrations of crab mince could be successhlly extruded; and 4) evaluate the consumer acceptance of fresh pasta products containing crab mince. The first study evaluated the separation of minced meat from the carapace and legs of Jonah crabs. Due to the hardness of the shell, crab meat could not be mechanically separated from the legs, however crab meat fiom the carapace was successhlly separated, and resulted in an average 64% minced meat yield fiom the starting product. The crab mince consisted of 77.8% moisture, 5.8% ash, 1.3% fat, and 15.1% protein. The shelf-life of the crab mince, which was evaluated by pH, Total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN), Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and microbial analyses, was less than four days. TVBN concentrations were above 70 mg N/ lOOg and APC counts were between lo8 -lo9 CFU/g by day four. Since the crab mince contained only 1-2% fat, lipid oxidation was not a limiting factor for shelf-life. The addition of sodium lactate, lactic acid, rosemary, and diacetyl was effective in improving shelf life of the mechanically separated crab mince. Lactic acid had the most significant effect on maintaining crab mince quality. Combinations of additives might prove most effective in enhancing quality of refi-igerated crab mince during storage, since individual additives improved only some aspects of mince quality. Microbial counts of crab mince in the shelf-life study were between 105-107 CFU/ g throughout the study. Sanitizing all parts of the mechanical separation machine before processing the carapaces resulted in significantly lower microbial counts in the mince (1 O3 - 1 O5 CFU/g) even after three to five days of refrigerated storage.