Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s leading aquaculture product. In raw product alone, mussel farmers exported 34,000 tons worth NZD 190M in 2012. Green-lipped mussel extract, which is used in supplements and biopharmaceuticals, generates additional revenues of around NZD 40M. Green lipped mussel extract is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties associated with joint pain, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

Last month, German pharmaceutical company Pharmalink teamed up with Taiwanese flavour company Simpson Biotech to create a natural seafood seasoning containing green-lipped mussel extract. Pharmalink brings 20 years experience extracting green-lipped mussels for their anti-inflammatory compounds into the partnership, while Simpson Biotech is one of Asia’s foremost fermentation and condiment manufacturers. By combining extraction experience with food technology, the innovative partnership has created a soluble powder that can be added to marinades, sauces, condiments, spice pastes, dry mixtures, and bouillon cubes.

The partnership sources the green-lipped mussel from the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Maximum flavour retention is achieved by processing this traditional seafood within six hours of harvesting by freeze-drying without heat or chemicals. The sweetness of the flavour is then intensified by enzymatic hydrolysis. Four kilos of mussels can thereby generate one kilo of water-soluble Green Lipped Mussel Essence powder.

The manufacturers emphasize the safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices of New Zealand’s mussel farmers. The region’s cold temperature waters are free of contaminants and a steady year-around supply is guaranteed.

BioPacific views this as one of many case studies where collaboration with companies and/or suppliers in New Zealand and Australia results in innovations to meet global market needs.

By Joerg Kistler, BioPacific Partners Venture Partner and Director of BIO INC


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