Due to changing lifestyles and increasing demand for healthier food and food ingredients, a low-salt fermented mussel sauce was developed by the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).
Branded as Patis Tahong, this ‘patis’ or fish sauce is made from fermented green mussel (Perna viridis).
Green mussel is abundantly found in the country and is considered as an important farming commodity in many coastal areas.
Just like the usual fermented fish patis, it can be used to add flavor to soups, broths, and dishes as well as a ‘sawsawan’ or dipping sauce.
Unlike the fish patis, however, Patis Tahong has the potential of being a functional food and food ingredient.
Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.
Aside from being low in salt, Patis Tahong is all-natural and has no artificial color, preservatives, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Mussel, its main ingredient, is high in protein, amino acids, zinc, calcium, and iron. It is also low in fat, cholesterol, and calories.
In a Consumer Acceptability Testing conducted, the product elicited positive responses for its odor, taste, and consumers’ willingness to buy. The low-salt mussel fermented sauce therefore has a market potential due to its product attributes.
The development of this product also addresses a specific market niche requiring low-salt seasoning but superior to industrially produced fish sauce. It has a promising competitive edge or at par with premium fish sauce brands.
The production of low-salt fermented mussel sauce can also provide an alternative livelihood in times of low demand for fresh mussel.
Patis Tahong is the result of the Mussel Sauce Project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The project was led by Ernestina M. Peralta of the Institute of Fish Processing Technology of UPV.