Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



The Gulf Coast region, principally Louisiana, leads the nation in oyster production. The National Marine Fisheries Service reported that 19.7 million pounds of oyster meat, valued at $62.3 million dollars were harvested from the Gulf Coast region in 2010. One of the main concerns for this industry is the health risk associated with the consumption of oysters, particularly for at-risk populations. Oysters are filter feeders. They tend to concentrate microbes present in surrounding waters, some of which can cause severe illness in susceptible humans. Among pathogens that contaminate the gastrointestinal system of oysters, Vibrio spp (especially V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus) are of greatest concern. The overall goal of the proposed study was to develop a protocol for the production of high quality and safe frozen oyster products in steam venting packages that are microwavable. Based on this study, a combination of 100 g of frozen oyster meat with 200 g of frozen mixed vegetables provided retention of almost 95% of the meat’s moisture after 300 s of microwave cooking. In addition, the achieving of an internal temperature of 90°C after 258 s of microwave cooking assured inactivation of naturally occurring pathogenic bacteria in oyster meat. The study demonstrated that steam venting technology could be used to inactivate pathogenic bacteria in frozen oysters and oyster products cooked in the steam packages retained the texture and the desirable flavor composition traditionally associated with oysters.



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Committee Chair

Subramaniam, Sathivel



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