Snail meat is now becoming a highly valued delicacy in recent times. It is also known and referred to as “Congo meat” in Nigeria. Snails constitute an important source of animal protein for many coastal communities in Nigeria. Snail meat consumption as we all know has become a lifestyle for some people especially those eating it on medical grounds. Snails are very useful in pharmaceuticals, for the production of certain drugs, because of their therapeutic properties. It has low fat and cholesterol and is the meat recommended for special medical patients. The emergence of snail meat joints in almost every neighborhood where snail meat delicacies are prepared is a clear indication that snail meat consumption is gaining a wide acceptance.

Snail meat for export must be processed with great care so as to increase its marketability. Below are the procedures that must be followed for processing snail meat for export.
1.      The snail should be starved for about 24 hours in other to empty their stomach
2.      Prepare enough quantity of water by boiling at greater than 70 degrees centigrade and transfer into a bucket or drum
3.      Add enough lumps of alum (potassium or ammonium aluminum sulphate)
4.      Transfer the snails into hot water and cover up immediately
5.      After 2 to 3 minutes, open the lid and pour off the resulting dirty from the hot water
6.      Cool under running tap
7.      With ease, shake off each snail from its shell into clean, cool water
8.      Remove offal
9.      Rinse in two changes of clean cool water
10. At this time, it is ready for immediate consumption or packaging for export.

Snail Meat for export can be packaged in several ways, these include the following
CELLOPHANE: this is a transparent paper-like product that is impervious to moisture and used to wrap candy or products for export. The processed snail meat may be sealed in cellophane and refrigerated for local or foreign market.
SUN DRYING/OVEN DRYING: this is another preservation method for export, after sun drying or oven drying; it should be kept in a neat, aerated enclosure till when needed. Live snails could also be packaged in a wooden box, basket or cellophane with maximum ventilation for export too.

Because of the high demand of snail meat, there are various channels in which one can market it. They include the following.
1. Hotels
2. Restaurants
3. Stores, supermarket & markets
4. Corporate parties such as wedding, naming/ birthday celebration
5. Institutions
6. Neighborhoods

If you already have a snail farm at your backyard, or you are planning on establishing one soon, you might want to read this article on snail feeds and feeding.

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