Purpose The aim of this work was to study the effect of the different temperatures on drying kinetics and quality parameters of vacuum oven-dried mediterranean or black mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) specimens. Design/methodology/approach Drying process was performed at 50, 60 and 70 degrees C and a vacuum drying pressure of 0.1 kPa. The proximate composition analysis was done. Drying rates of the mussels were computed. Mathematical modeling was carried out. Effective moisture diffusivity, activation energy and total energy consumption were calculated. Color measurement was conducted. Findings Drying took place entirely in the falling rate period. The obtained results indicated that the drying air temperature has a remarkable influence on the moisture content and drying rate. Drying resulted in a significant increasing of protein and fat content. The D-eff values ranged from 1.44 x 10(-9)-3.23 x 10(-9) m(2)/s, with the activation energy 4.47 kW kg(-1). The Alibas model is the most proper model to define the drying curves. This method provided high energy efficiency and quality in dried products. Research limitations/implications Fresh mussels grown in Eceabat location were used as the study sample. In the drying process, 50, 60, 70 degrees C temperatures and 0.1 kPa pressure was used. These are the limitations of the research. Originality/value This work is the first to report the influence of vacuum oven drying on the color changes and drying kinetics of black mussels.