The objective of this project was to provide relevant information to Alaska shellfish growers regarding the intrinsic quality of their farmed oysters. A 1-y study was conducted to determine the condition indices, proximate composition, fatty acid content, and microbial load of commercially harvested oysters from 3 different mariculture regions in the state of Alaska. Oysters from farms located in the regions of Prince William Sound, Kachemak Bay, and Southeast Alaska were sampled according to the farmers’ harvest schedules. Our results suggest that Alaskan maricultured oysters have slight seasonal and regional differences. The condition indices of Alaska oysters were high, indicating an excellent quality product. The chemical composition and fatty acid profile of C. gigas from Alaska waters are in agreement with the values reported for mariculture oysters of same species from different parts of the world. The microbial content of Alaskan oysters varied widely between shipments from each specific geographic region and could not be correlated to either harvest time or transit time.
Publication: Journal of Food Science, Volume 71, Issue 9