Things we can do
The health status of langoustines affects their survival after capture, their ability to withstand the rigours of live transport, and their ultimate quality, both as whole animals and as tails. We assess health status by measuring various metabolites in the blood (eg. sugars, proteins) and from blood cell counts.
We have developed a range of tests to determine the quality of langoustine meat. These measure the rate at which biochemical changes take place in the meat post mortem, and include changes in pH, lactic acid, nucleotides, biogenic amines, ammonia & related compounds. These measures have been calibrated against the evaluations of a professional sensory taste panel.
The main factors affecting shelf life have been identified, including the agents of microbiological spoilage. Measures can be recommended for extending shelf life through improved handling and temperature control.
We are exploring certain special treatments that may help to improve or preserve quality. These include evaluation of antimelanotic products, the application of high pressure and the use of modified atmospheres. Patent devices, such as the 'Crustastun' used for humane killling, have also been bench-tested.
We have expertise in the diagnosis of microbiological and other diseases that may affect langoustines, including shell diseases, 'cotton tail' (idiopathic muscle necrosis) and infections by the dinoflagellate Hematodinium.