Quality Determination


Quality Deternination

The quality is determined by a combination of the creamy ‘body cover’ and ‘shell fullness’ (this being the percentage comparison of the volume of the oyster meat to the volume of the bottom shell)
The shell of a Pacific Oyster varies widely with the environment where it is grown. Its large, rounded, radial folds are often extremely rough and sharp. The two valves of the shell are slightly different in size and shape, the right valve being moderately concave.  The shell can vary in colour, usually pale white or off-white. Mature specimens can vary from 80 mm to 400 mm long.
The dimensions of the Pacific Oyster shell have an approximate   ‘length : width : depth’  ratio of  -  3 : 2 : 1    



A live oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell. Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive when tapped, are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand, may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as 'clackers'.     

An opened, natural oyster (half shell) should be moist and shiny; clear of mud and shell; and have a fresh salty smell.