Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis L.) farming constitutes the largest volume of the shellfish sector in Ireland. Recently, interest in mussel dietary supplements and functional foods has increased significantly. To identify the optimal harvesting time and location in Ireland, blue mussels were investigated for their biochemical composition over a period of one year. The study included samples from aquaculture facilities, wild grown mussels and waste material. Each sample was analysed at four time points to determine the total content of (i) glycogen, (ii) lipids, (iii) proteins, (iv) inorganic substances, and (v) energy. Moreover, fatty acid profiles were investigated by GC-FID revealing high contents of PUFAs and a high omega-3/omega-6 ratio. Compared to less pronounced geographical variations, distinct seasonal trends could be observed for all samples. The content of the investigated metabolite classes, inorganic substances, and energy was at a maximum level in spring or late summer. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.