Weathervane scallops (Patinopecten caurinus) have been harvested commercially in Alaska since 1967. From the beginning, vessel operators in the eastern Gulf of Alaska have reported poor scallop adductor muscle quality characterized by tissue of stringy texture that tears easily during shucking. The Alaska scallop industry designates these scallops as “weak meats” and has difficulty marketing the product. Our research objective was to quantify variability in the quality of adductor muscle of Alaskan weathervane scallops. Physical measurements and chemical composition analyses were conducted for 2 groups of whole scallops from Yakutat (weak and standard) and 2 groups of scallop adductor muscles from Kodiak (Kodiak 1 and Kodiak 2). Moisture content was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in weak than in standard adductor muscles. Glycogen content was similar (P > 0.05) for standard, Kodiak 1, and Kodiak 2 adductor muscles, but was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in weak adductor muscles. Muscle condition indices were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in weak than in standard adductor muscles. Results indicate that weak adductor muscle samples were lower in overall quality than the other 3 groups. Further investigation into the biological causes of weak adductor muscle in the eastern Gulf of Alaska scallops is warranted.
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Vol. 31 • No. 4