Mussel
Overview
The common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 mussel is used for members of several families of clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

s or bivalvia
Bivalvia
Bivalvia is a taxonomic class of marine and freshwater molluscs. This class includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and many other families of molluscs that have two hinged shells...

 mollusca
Mollusca
The Mollusca , common name molluscs or mollusksSpelled mollusks in the USA, see reasons given in Rosenberg's ; for the spelling mollusc see the reasons given by , is a large phylum of invertebrate animals. There are around 85,000 recognized extant species of molluscs. Mollusca is the largest...

, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.

The word "mussel" is most frequently used to mean the edible bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae
Mytilidae
Mytilidae is a family of small to large saltwater mussels, marine bivalve mollusks in the order Mytiloida. It is the only family in the order...

, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads ("beard") to a firm substrate.
Encyclopedia
The common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 mussel is used for members of several families of clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

s or bivalvia
Bivalvia
Bivalvia is a taxonomic class of marine and freshwater molluscs. This class includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and many other families of molluscs that have two hinged shells...

 mollusca
Mollusca
The Mollusca , common name molluscs or mollusksSpelled mollusks in the USA, see reasons given in Rosenberg's ; for the spelling mollusc see the reasons given by , is a large phylum of invertebrate animals. There are around 85,000 recognized extant species of molluscs. Mollusca is the largest...

, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.

The word "mussel" is most frequently used to mean the edible bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae
Mytilidae
Mytilidae is a family of small to large saltwater mussels, marine bivalve mollusks in the order Mytiloida. It is the only family in the order...

, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads ("beard") to a firm substrate. A few species (in the genus Bathymodiolus
Bathymodiolus
Bathymodiolus is a genus of deep-sea chemosynthetic mussels.-Species:Modern species within the genus Bathymodiolus include:* Bathymodiolus childressi Gustafson, Lutz, Turner & Vrijenhoek, 1998* Bathymodiolus japonicus Hashimoto & Okutani, 1994...

) have colonised hydrothermal vents associated with deep ocean ridges.

In most marine mussels the shell is longer than it is wide, being wedge-shaped or asymmetrical. The external colour of the shell is often dark blue, blackish, or brown, while the interior is silvery and somewhat nacre
Nacre
Nacre , also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent....

ous.

The word "mussel" is also used for many freshwater bivalves, including the freshwater pearl mussel
Freshwater pearl mussel
The freshwater pearl mussel, scientific name Margaritifera margaritifera, is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Margaritiferidae....

s. Freshwater mussel species inhabit lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, canals, grouped in a different subclass, despite some very superficial similarities in appearance.

Freshwater Zebra mussels and their relatives in the family Dreissenidae
Dreissenidae
The Dreissenidae are a family of small freshwater mussels, aquatic bivalve mollusks. They attach themselves to stones or to any other hard surface using a byssus.-Genera:Genera within the family Dreissenidae include:* Congeria...

 are not related to previously mentioned groups, even though they resemble many Mytilus species in shape, and live attached to rocks and other hard surfaces in a similar manner, using a byssus
Byssus
Byssus means both a silky filament by which certain molluscs attach themselves to hard surfaces, and a rare fabric, also called sea silk and its fibre source.-Word:...

. They are classified with the Heterodonta
Heterodonta
Heterodonta is a subclass of bivalve molluscs, including the clams and cockles. They are distinguished by having the two halves of the shell be equally sized, and having a few cardinal teeth separated from a number of long lateral teeth. Their shells lack a nacreous layer, and the gills are...

, the taxonomic group which includes most of the bivalves commonly referred to as "clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

s".

General anatomy

The mussel's external shell is composed of two hinged halves or "valves". The valves are joined together on the outside by a ligament, and are closed when necessary by strong internal muscles. Mussel shells carry out a variety of functions, including support for soft tissues, protection from predators and protection against desiccation.

The shell has three layers. In the pearly mussels there is an inner iridescent layer of nacre
Nacre
Nacre , also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent....

 (mother-of-pearl) composed of calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

, which is continuously secreted by the mantle; the prismatic layer, a middle layer of chalky white crystals of calcium carbonate in a protein matrix; and the periostracum
Periostracum
The periostracum is a thin organic coating or "skin" which is the outermost layer of the shell of many shelled animals, including mollusks and brachiopods. Among mollusks it is primarily seen in snails and clams, i.e. in bivalves and gastropods, but it is also found in cephalopods such as the...

, an outer pigmented layer resembling a skin. The periostracum is composed of a protein called conchin, and its function is to protect the prismatic layer from abrasion and dissolution by acids (especially important in freshwater forms where the decay of leaf materials produces acids).

Like most bivalves, mussels have a large organ called a foot. In freshwater mussels, the foot is large, muscular, and generally hatchet-shaped. It is used to pull the animal through the substrate (typically sand, gravel, or silt) in which it lies partially buried. It does this by repeatedly advancing the foot through the substrate, expanding the end so it serves as an anchor, and then pulling the rest of the animal with its shell forward. It also serves as a fleshy anchor when the animal is stationary.

In marine mussels, the foot is smaller, tongue-like in shape, with a groove on the ventral surface which is continuous with the byssus
Byssus
Byssus means both a silky filament by which certain molluscs attach themselves to hard surfaces, and a rare fabric, also called sea silk and its fibre source.-Word:...

 pit. In this pit, a viscous secretion is exuded, entering the groove and hardening gradually upon contact with sea water. This forms extremely tough, strong, elastic, byssus
Byssus
Byssus means both a silky filament by which certain molluscs attach themselves to hard surfaces, and a rare fabric, also called sea silk and its fibre source.-Word:...

 threads that secure the mussel to its substrate. The byssus thread is also sometimes used by mussels as a defensive measure, to tether predatory molluscs, such as dog whelk
Dog Whelk
The dog whelk, dogwhelk, or Atlantic dogwinkle, scientific name Nucella lapillus, is a species of predatory sea snail, a carnivorous marine gastropod mollusc in the family Muricidae, the rock snails....

s, that invade mussel beds, immobilising them and thus starving them to death.

In cooking, the byssus of the mussel is known as the "beard" and is removed before the mussels are prepared.

Life habits

Feeding

Both marine and freshwater mussels are filter feeders; they feed on plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

 and other microscopic sea creatures which are free-floating in seawater. A mussel draws water in through its incurrent siphon. The water is then brought into the branchial chamber by the actions of the cilia located on the gill
Gill
A gill is a respiratory organ found in many aquatic organisms that extracts dissolved oxygen from water, afterward excreting carbon dioxide. The gills of some species such as hermit crabs have adapted to allow respiration on land provided they are kept moist...

s for ciliary-mucus feeding. The wastewater exits through the excurrent siphon. The labial palps finally funnel the food into the mouth, where digestion begins.

Marine mussels are usually found clumping
Sessility (zoology)
In zoology, sessility is a characteristic of animals which are not able to move about. They are usually permanently attached to a solid substrate of some kind, such as a part of a plant or dead tree trunk, a rock, or the hull of a ship in the case of barnacles. Corals lay down their own...

 together on wave-washed rocks, each attached to the rock by its byssus
Byssus
Byssus means both a silky filament by which certain molluscs attach themselves to hard surfaces, and a rare fabric, also called sea silk and its fibre source.-Word:...

. The clumping habit helps hold the mussels firm against the force of the waves. At low tide mussels in the middle of a clump will undergo less water loss because of water capture by the other mussels.

Reproduction

Both marine and freshwater mussels are gonochoristic
Gonochorism
In biology, gonochorism or unisexualism describes sexually reproducing species in which individuals have just one of at least two distinct sexes. The term is most often used with animals . The sex of an individual may change during its lifetime, this can for example be found in parrotfish...

, with separate male and female individuals. In marine mussels, fertilization occurs outside the body, with a larval stage that drifts for three weeks to six months, before settling on a hard surface as a young mussel. There, it is capable of moving slowly by means of attaching and detaching byssal threads to attain a better life position.

Freshwater mussels reproduce sexually. Sperm is released by the male directly into the water and enters the female via the incurrent siphon. After fertilization, the eggs develop into a larval stage called a glochidium
Glochidium
The glochidium is a special microscopic larval stage of larger freshwater mussels, aquatic bivalve mollusks in the families Unionidae and Margaritiferidae, the river mussels and European freshwater pearl mussels....

 (plural glochidia), which temporarily parasitize fish, attaching themselves to the fish's fins or gills. Prior to their release, the glochidia grow in the gills of the female mussel where they are constantly flushed with oxygen-rich water. In some species, release occurs when a fish attempts to attack the mussel's minnow or other mantle flaps shaped like prey; an example of aggressive mimicry
Aggressive mimicry
Aggressive mimicry is a form of mimicry where predators, parasites or parasitoids share similar signals with a harmless model, allowing them to avoid being correctly identified by their prey or host...

.

Glochidia are generally species-specific, and will only live if they find the correct fish host. Once the larval mussels attach to the fish, the fish body reacts to cover them with cells forming a cyst
Cyst
A cyst is a closed sac, having a distinct membrane and division on the nearby tissue. It may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material. A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.- Locations :* Acne...

, where the glochidia remain for two to five weeks (depending on temperature). They grow, break free from the host, and drop to the bottom of the water to begin an independent life.

Predators

Marine mussels are eaten by humans, starfish, seabirds, and by numerous species of predatory marine gastropods in the family Muricidae
Muricidae
Muricidae, common name murex snails or rock snails, is a large and varied taxonomic family of small to large predatory sea snails. With approximately 1,600 living species the Muricidae represent almost 10% of the Neogastropoda. Additionally, 1,200 fossil species have been recognised...

, such as the dog whelk
Dog Whelk
The dog whelk, dogwhelk, or Atlantic dogwinkle, scientific name Nucella lapillus, is a species of predatory sea snail, a carnivorous marine gastropod mollusc in the family Muricidae, the rock snails....

, Nucella lapillus.

Freshwater mussels are eaten by otters, raccoons, ducks, baboons (off the coast of South Africa) and geese.

Distribution and habitat

Marine mussels are abundant in the low and mid intertidal zone in temperate seas globally.

Other species of marine mussel live in tropical intertidal areas, but not in the same huge numbers as in temperate zones.

Certain species of marine mussels prefer salt marshes or quiet bays, while others thrive in pounding surf, completely covering wave-washed rocks. Some species have colonized abyssal depths near hydrothermal vents. The South African white mussel exceptionally doesn't bind itself to rocks but burrows into sandy beaches extending two tubes above the sand surface for ingestion of food and water and exhausting wastes.

Freshwater mussels inhabit permanent lakes, rivers, canals and streams throughout the world except in the polar regions. They require a constant source of cool, clean water. They prefer water with a substantial mineral content, using calcium carbonate to build their shells.

Aquaculture

In 2005, China accounted for 40 per cent of the global mussel catch according to a FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

 study. Within Europe, Spain remained the industry leader. In North America, 80% of cultured mussels are produced in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

 in Canada.

Freshwater mussels are used as host animals for the cultivation of freshwater pearls. Some species of marine mussel, including the Blue Mussel
Blue mussel
The blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is a medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae. In spite of its specific name edulis, it is not the sole edible Mytilus species.-Distribution:...

 (Mytilus edulis) and the New Zealand green-lipped mussel
New Zealand green-lipped mussel
The New Zealand green-lipped mussel, is a bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae. P. canaliculus has great importance as a cultivated species for New Zealand.-Distribution:Perna canaliculus has a wide distribution which covers all of New Zealand's mainland. P...

 (Perna canaliculus), are also cultivated as a source of food.

There are a variety of techniques for growing mussels.
  • Intertidal growth technique, or bouchot technique: pilings, known in French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     as bouchots, are planted at sea; ropes, on which the mussels grow, are tied in a spiral on the pilings; some mesh netting prevents the mussels from falling away. This method needs an extended tidal zone.
  • Mussels are cultivated extensively in New Zealand, where the most common method is to attach mussels to ropes which are hung from a rope back-bone supported by large plastic floats. The most common species cultivated in New Zealand is the New Zealand green-lipped mussel
    New Zealand green-lipped mussel
    The New Zealand green-lipped mussel, is a bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae. P. canaliculus has great importance as a cultivated species for New Zealand.-Distribution:Perna canaliculus has a wide distribution which covers all of New Zealand's mainland. P...

    .

Mussels as food

Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years and continue to do so. About 17 species are edible, of which the most commonly eaten are Mytilus edulis, M. galloprovincialis, M. trossellus and Perna canaliculus.

Freshwater mussels nowadays are generally considered to be unpalatable, though the native peoples in North America ate them extensively. During the second World War in the United States, mussels were commonly served in diners. This was due to the unavailability of red meat related to wartime rationing.

In Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, mussels are consumed with french fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

 ("mosselen met friet" or "moules frites") or bread. In Belgium, mussels are often served with fresh herbs and flavorful vegetables in a stock of butter and white wine. Frites/Frieten
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

 and Belgian beer
Belgian beer
Beer in Belgium varies from pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. There are approximately 178 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries..-History:...

 are popular accompaniments. In the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, mussels are sometimes served fried in batter or breadcrumbs
Breading
Breading is a dry grain-derived food coating for a piece of food such as meat, vegetable, poultry, fish, shellfish, crustacean, seitan, or textured soy, made from breadcrumbs or a breading mixture with seasonings. Breading can also refer to the process of applying a bread-like coating to a food...

, particularly at take-out
Take-out
Take-out or takeout , carry-out , take-away , parcel , or tapau , is food purchased at a...

 food outlets or informal settings. In France, the Éclade des Moules is a mussel bake popular along the beaches of the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

.

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, mussels are often mixed with other sea food, or eaten with pasta.

In Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, they are consumed mostly steam cooked, sometimes boiling white wine, onion and herbs, and served with the remaining water and some lemon. It's also common eat them as "tigres", a sort of croquette using the mussel meat, shrimps and other pieces of fish in a thick bechamel, breaded and fried in the clean mussel shell. They are used in other sort of dishes, as rices or soups, or commonly eaten canned in a pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

 brine made of oil, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and paprika.

In Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, mussels are either covered with flour and fried on shishs ('midye tava'), or filled with rice and served cold ('midye dolma') and are usually consumed with alcohol (mostly with raki
Raki (alcoholic beverage)
Raki is a Turkish unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey, Greece, Serbia, and other Balkan countries as an apéritif. It is often served with seafood or meze...

 or beer).

They are used in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 boiled and seasoned with vinegar, with the "bray" or boiling water as a supplementary hot drink.

In Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country...

, mussels are cooked in a broth of garlic and fermented black bean. In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, they are served in a chili or garlic-based vinaigrette
Vinaigrette
The word vinaigrette or vinegarette can refer to:*Vinaigrette, the salad dressing or sauce...

, processed into fritters and fried, or used as the base for a chowder. In India, mussels are popular in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Bhatkal
Bhatkal
Bhatkal is also known as Batecala in some historical text especially in Portuguese history.Once ruled by Jain King Bhattakalanka and thus the name. Bhatkal is a port town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India 126 km from Karwar. The town lies on NH-17 running between Mumbai and Mangalore...

, and Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

. They are either prepared with drumsticks
Moringa oleifera
Moringa oleifera, the word Moringa probably came from dravidian language Tamil and commonly referred to as "Shojne" in Bengali, "Munagakaya" in Telugu,"Shenano" in Rajasthani,...

, breadfruit
Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

 or other vegetables, or filled with rice and coconut paste with spices and served hot. Fried mussels ('Kadukka' in Malayalam) of north Kerala are a spicy, favored delicacy.

Preparation

Mussels can be smoked, boiled, steamed, roasted, barbecued or fried in butter.

As with all shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

, except shrimp, mussels should be checked to ensure they are still alive just before they are cooked; enzymes quickly break down the meat and make them unpalatable after dying. A simple criterion is that live mussels, when in the air, will shut tightly when disturbed. Open, unresponsive mussels are dead, and must be discarded. Unusually heavy, wild caught, closed mussels may be discarded as they may contain only mud or sand. (They can be tested by slightly opening the shell halves.)

A thorough rinse in water and removal of "the beard" is suggested. Mussel shells usually open when cooked, revealing the cooked soft parts.

Although mussels are valued as food, mussel poisoning due to toxic planktonic organisms can be a danger along some coastlines. For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of dinoflagellate
Dinoflagellate
The dinoflagellates are a large group of flagellate protists. Most are marine plankton, but they are common in fresh water habitats as well. Their populations are distributed depending on temperature, salinity, or depth...

s (red tides), which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning
Paralytic shellfish poisoning
Paralytic shellfish poisoning is one of the four recognized syndromes of shellfish poisoning, which share some common features and are primarily associated with bivalve mollusks . These shellfish are filter feeders and, therefore, accumulate toxins produced by microscopic algae, such as...

. Usually the U.S. government monitors the levels of toxins throughout the year at fishing sites. See Red Tide
Red tide
Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon also known as an algal bloom , an event in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column and results in discoloration of the surface water. It is usually found in coastal areas...

.

Nutrition highlights

Raw blue mussels
Serving size 3 ounces (85 g)
Calories  70
Protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 
10.1 g
Carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

 
3.1 g
Fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

 
0.0 g
Total fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

 
1.9 g
Saturated fat
Saturated fat
Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms...

 
0.4 g
Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 
243 mg

  • Excellent source of: Selenium
    Selenium
    Selenium is a chemical element with atomic number 34, chemical symbol Se, and an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, whose properties are intermediate between those of adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium...

     (76 mcg), and vitamin B12
    Vitamin B12
    Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins...

     (20 mcg)
  • Good source of: Zinc
    Zinc
    Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

     (2.3 mg), and folate (64 mcg)


Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the recommended daily value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the recommended daily value.

See also

  • Clam
    Clam
    The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

  • Oyster
    Oyster
    The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

  • Zebra mussel
    Zebra mussel
    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is a small freshwater mussel. This species was originally native to the lakes of southeast Russia being first described in 1769 by a German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas in the Ural, Volga and Dnieper rivers. They are still found nearby, as Pontic and Caspian...

  • California mussel
    California mussel
    The California mussel, Mytilus californianus, is a large edible mussel, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae.This species is native to the west coast of North America, occurring from northern Mexico to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska...

  • Dwarf wedgemussel
    Dwarf wedgemussel
    The dwarf wedgemussel, scientific name Alasmidonta heterodon, is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Unionidae, the river mussels.- Distribution and conservation status :...


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