The mass of scallops sampled from processing plants in Melbourne during the period November 1983 - December 1994 was found to vary according to fishing ground. Tasmanian scallops were larger (mean 11.6g) than those from Port Phillip Bay (9.9g) and Lakes' Entrance (9.4g).
Scallops caught in Port Phillip Bay or in Tasmanian waters had a higher moisture content than those caught off Lakes' Entrance; 78.94% and 78.67%, respectively, versus 77.60%.
Season did not affect moisture content, though it did affect mass; scallops taken in the winter months were larger than those caught in warmer seasons.
The present study quantified the practice of soaking scallops; all of 50 samples purchased had been soaked, irrespective of whether they were purchased from a market stall or a large supermarket chain. The pressure test can readily determine whether scallops have been soaked.
The present study underlines the need for more effective quality control during packing and freezing of export scallops, together with the need for a standard thaw test.