How To Keep Crab Fresh
Thinking of keeping the crab fresh can be quite a daunting experience, if you do not know how to keep crab fresh. However, you need to clean this shellfish before processing for keeping the fresh and palatable.
Cleaning the crab for keeping them fresh to use
Clean crab by first removing the slimy layer that is formed around the crab, which is formed in the air-water-body surface interface of the crab. This is the source of spoilage organisms and so you need to rub the fresh crab on a coarse surface to remove the slimy layer on the surface of the crab, and also clean to remove the unpalatable contents of the crab like the undigested food and wastes from the interior, as you will be doing for any other fish. Other parts of the crabs to be separated before preserving the crab are the shell, legs intestines, claws and fat. Once this process of cleansing the crab is done, the crab is preserved by using one of the two methods.
1. Use of high temperatures – Canning
Live crabs or the cleansed crabs are cooked at high temperatures in retorts, without any pressure, at 121°C, which also facilitates the removal of the meat from the shell, and later the meat can be processed at 85.6 °C to 87.2°C for 92 to 150 minutes. As this method does not involve any pressure, this is better known as pasteurization, heating the meat at enough temperature that will kill only the spoilage without deteriorating the meat. They are later packed into airtight cans, which are refrigerated.
2. Use of low temperature
In short, crab is not frozen by when raw as this can initiate cold spoilage, and is therefore cooked and packed for transit before being frozen.
No other additives or direct contact of both heat and ice initiates only the spoilage of crabs, and is therefore best to keep them fresh after cleaning for three days without being spoilt in the refrigerator and for five days if processed and cooked.
Overall, the best option for keeping the crab fresh is to buy them fresh and use them within a day or two.
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