Title page for ETD etd-1123161739741061

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Benning, Jennifer Lyn
Author's Email Address jbenning@vt.edu
URN etd-1123161739741061
Title Development of Alternative Crab Claw Processing Systems to Minimize Environmental Impact
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Flick, George J. Jr.
Little, John C.
Boardman, Gregory D. Committee Chair
  • crab claw
  • enviromental impact
  • waste minimization
  • blue crab processing
Date of Defense 1997-03-14
Availability unrestricted
Development of Alternative Crab Claw Processing Systems to Minimize Environmental Impact by Jennifer Lyn Benning

Chair: Dr. Gregory Boardman

Environemental Engineering (ABSTRACT) In the recent years, environmental regulations enforced by federal,state, and local agencies have increasingly addressed water quality issues through progressively more stringent regulations. These regulations have raised concerns in the blue crab industry because processors are now subject to regulations under which new processors are unable to meet the effluent limitations with current processing techniques. This study focuses on the mechanized processing of crab claws. Currently,

processors use a brine bath, referred to as the Harris Claw machine, to separate crab claw meat and shell, nd this process yields a waste water which is significantly high in pollutant strength, and is untreatable by biological methods due to the toxicity associated with

the high chloride concentrations found in the waste stream. Several alternative crab claw processing systems were developed and evaluated in terms of the meat product yield, the meat product quality, and the wastewater characterization. Two alternatives involved the use of dense media, a 22.5% Staley 1300 corn syrup solution with 5.0% salt and a 30.0% Staley 1300 corn syrup solution, to separate the crab claw meat and shell. These methods, in full scale tests, produced meat yields comparable to that of the brine solution and improved the overall taste of the meat product. However, the effluents had significantly higher BOD5 concentrations. Another alternative to the Harris Claw machine,

involved the design, characterization, and testing of a hydraulic separator system (HSS). The HSS was tested on a small scale, but was found to have a meat yield comparable to the Harris Claw machine. The HSS significantly improved the flavor of a final meat product,

although the HSS meat product had a significantly lower shelf life than the Harris Claw machine meat product. The waste water quality was improved, because the HSS eliminates the problems associated with a high chloride ion concentration and potentially reduces overall water consumption.

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