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Amazing Facts About Mussels 2016-07-05T11:43:47+00:00

Amazing Facts About Mussels

Scottish West Coast Mussels – the tastiest in the world!

  • Mussels have been cultivated for almost 800 years in Europe, and have been used as a food source for more then 20,000 years. In fact, prehistoric settlements in Scotland can often be identified by the large mounds of mussel shells found nearby.
  • The Blue Mussel (Mytilus Edulis) is the most common mussel found in Scotland and throughout the British Isles.
  • Mussels are sedentary and fix themselves to substrata such as rocks by byssal threads or “beards”. These chitinous threads are produced as a liquid which then sets in the seawater.
  • The byssal threads of mussels are so strong that they can cling to even a Teflon surface. Scientists are now trying to develop a mussel-based adhesive for use in eye surgery.
  • Chitin from shellfish is used to make “chitosan” which is found in moisturisers, hair-care products, and medical applications such as wound dressings and as a protective coat for wheat seeds.
  • To survive in the exposed and often harsh inter-tidal areas, the mussel can seal itself by tightly closing its valves and trapping water within.
  • The dog whelk is one of the mussel’s main predators. It bores a hole through the shell and sucks out the soft parts. But the mussel sometimes has enough time to exact revenge by attaching a byssal thread onto the dog whelk’s shell thus trapping it. The whelk then starves to death imprisoned on the dead mussel shell.
  • The mantles of lady mussels are orange while gents’ are creamy white.
  • The size of the mussel varies with the season. They are largest and fleshiest in October and smallest in March.
  • Mussels feed entirely on plankton. To do this they can filter up to 65 litres of water a day.
  • Tasty, nutritious and low in sodium and saturated fat, mussels provide a readily absorbed source of B & C vitamins, amino acids, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vital minerals including iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
  • Ounce for ounce mussel meat contains more protein than beef stock, much less fat, many more mineral nutrients and a quarter of the calories.