Use of invasive green crab Carcinus maenas for production of a fermented condiment.
To control the population of an invasive species of green crab, we investigated the feasibility of producing a fermented crab condiment. Commercial fermented fish condiments were tested to assess variability in the marketplace and to identify targets for lab-fermented sauces. Finely chopped crab was combined with 100 mg g-1, 200 mg g-1, or 300 mg g-1 NaCl, and spontaneously fermented for up to 120 days. Chromatographic analysis revealed that histamine content was not a safety concern as all treatments were below the current U.S. legal threshold (50 mg 100 mL-1). The majority of microbial and physicochemical properties measured within salt level (proteolytic bacterial population, total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), amine nitrogen, water activity, moisture, and biogenic amines) were statistically unchanged between days 60 and 120 of fermentation, suggesting that most of the biochemical changes happened early in the fermentation. While the production of a fermented condiment was successful and could represent an opportunity for the valorization of this invasive species, additional work is needed to accelerate the process and further understand the dynamics of the early fermentation stages.