Curious about whether it might kill off the vibrio bacterium, Voisin and a Louisiana microbiologist, Marilyn B. Kilgen, set about arranging for tests.
What Voisin and Kilgen
did not anticipate was that the procedure also left the oyster perfectly shucked and intact, ready to be scooped or shaken out of its shell and eaten whole.
Kilgen, chairman of the biology department at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, was the one who opened the oysters in her lab after the tests.
saw the oyster was shucked, her
heart seemed to skip a beat.
"That was one of the highlights in my research career," she
Mechanical shucking "had been on the back burner for every industry person for so long -- I'd been to meetings where a machine took up the whole stage and a computer would calculate the impact of a knife on a hinge -- but the bottom line is, you still had to cut the muscle loose from the shell, and machines couldn't do that right."
called Ernie Voisin and told him the news.
The science of what had taken place was relatively simple, Kilgen