New appliance offers "humane method" for preparing shellfish at restaurants

Published on
July 16, 2018

United Kingdom-based appliance developer Mitchell & Cooper has rolled out Crustastun, a new device designed for the humane killing of crustaceans. 

In light of controversial findings over recent years suggesting crustaceans can feel pain, Crustastun was created to offer an alternative method to killing lobsters and crabs that sidesteps traditional techniques, which involve boiling the shellfish alive or using precise knife skills to cut the animal, according to Mitchell & Cooper.

The appliance targets the brain centers of the shellfish with an electro-stunning mechanism, interrupting nerve function in less than half a second and preventing the animal from feeling pain. Crustastun kills shellfish in less than 10 seconds, “a dramatically quicker time when compared to boiling, which can take up to [three] minutes,” the company said. 

The machine offers dedicated settings for both lobsters and crabs, as well as the use of a salt water bath for conducting an electrical current for effective, consistent stunning of each animal. Crustastun, in stunning the shellfish in this way, also offers a dual benefit of betting-tasting meat, Mitchell & Cooper said. 

“The Crustastun also provides a further benefit over boiling as the process actually improves the taste and texture of the meat when compared to more stressful ways of killing crustaceans. The process of stunning the animal accelerates the tenderization of the meat, leading to a better end product,” the company said in a press release.

Featuring a compact, countertop design, Crustastun operates on a two-button interface, thus requiring no special skills of training for it to work, allowing kitchens to work with “increased flexibility and staffing,” according to Mitchell & Cooper. 

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