Scallop quality


The quality assessment checks listed below are specific to scallops. Please refer also to the general quality assessment checks for all sensory criteria, which cover all seafood.

Quality checklist


Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Flesh Colour

Varies from white to cream

Tan or orangish brown

Tanning (yellow to orange colouring) suggests ageing product. Such colour does not always mean the flesh is bad, but it must be considered suspect. Pink colouration can indicate spawning, having been in the shell too long or staining from contact with roe.


Fleshy, firmly attached

Loosely attached

Colour varies with species. The presence of roe does not affect the eating quality of the scallop meat. Most consumers like the meat with the roe attached. Saucer scallops are usually sold roe off.

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Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Overall odour

Distinct, strong scallop smell (especially in saucer scallops)

Sour, unpleasant smell

The distinct scallop smell of high-quality product is sometimes mistaken for lower quality by the uninitiated.

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Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Edible parts

Moist, firm and elastic

Soft, flabby, break up easily; high loss of water (drip loss)

Soft scallops and those with high water content may have been soaked in water to increase their weight.
Crumbed, battered or otherwise coated scallops can "explode" when deep fried.

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