Manufacturer Mitchell & Cooper has introduced the Crustastun, an appliance designed specifically for the humane killing of crustaceans.
Created as an alternative to more traditional methods of killing lobsters and crabs, which have become increasingly controversial in recent years following growing evidence that crustaceans can feel pain, the Crustastun is also said to improve the taste and texture of the meat. The process of stunning the animal should accelerate the tenderisation of the meat, leading to a better end product.
The manufacturer believes the Crustastun provides a quick and painless alternative to boiling lobsters and crabs alive. As consumers have become increasingly aware of the controversy surrounding these practices, and the distress these traditional methods can cause the animal, pressure has increased to get the practice of boiling crustaceans made illegal.
The Crustastun utilises an electro-stunning method to kill crustaceans, which targets the brain centres of the shellfish. This process interrupts nerve function in less than half a second, meaning the shellfish should not feel pain.
The animal is also said to be killed in under 10 seconds, whereas boiling can take up to 3 minutes. Dedicated settings for lobsters and crabs, as well as the use of a salt water bath to help conduct the electrical current, are designed to enable the Crustastun to stun effectively and consistently.
The unit features a compact, countertop design and is claimed to be quick and easy to use, utilising a two button operating interface. No special skills or training are required to operate the appliance.