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Stamping Our Mark On Our New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussel Powder

The New Zealand Greenshell™ mussel industry is excited to announce the introduction of a quality mark, designed to assist customers and consumers in identifying genuine, authentic, and high-quality Greenshell™ mussel powder.

As the demand for our New Zealand Greenshell™ mussel powder grows globally, thanks to groundbreaking research uncovering its incredible health benefits, this quality mark ensures that customers can trust the origin and quality of the product they are purchasing.

The project has been facilitated by Aquaculture New Zealand, co-funded by Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) and driven by the New Zealand producers as they recognised the need to protect the reputation of their products and provide quality assurance to their customers that they’re getting the real deal!

The New Zealand Greenshell™ mussel powder producers joined forces to create a quality mark for their products. Through extensive scientific analysis conducted by Cawthron, the industry identified two essential criteria for this mark. Firstly, the powder must consist solely of Greenshell™ mussel powder, without any other ingredients blended in. Secondly, the powder must contain a minimum lipid content of 8%, equivalent to at least 8 grams per 100 grams.

The unique lipids (fats) of Greenshell™ mussel powders contain important omega-3s, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These omega-3s enhance the nutritional profile that can impact potency and efficacy.

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“The potent anti-inflammatory bioactivity of Greenshell™ mussel lipids make it a sought-after nutraceutical treatment for various inflammatory conditions such as arthritis,” says Dr Matt Miller, Cawthron Institute.

Despite the variation in extraction methods and nutritional profiles of the various New Zealand powders, these criteria were agreed upon as straightforward and crucial measures for ensuring the authenticity and quality of the products.

Greenshell™ mussels are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and are exclusively farmed in our pristine waters. These mussels, also known as kutai (or kuku) hold significant cultural value as cherished taonga (treasure). Māori have long known the benefits of consuming Greenshell™ mussels and now the world is learning more about the numerous functional health benefits from our indigenous superfood.

Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that the natural extract, Greenshell™ mussel powder, can support muscle recovery, reduce inflammation and joint pain, protect cartilage, and improve symptoms and functionality in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Dr Dominic Lomiwes, a scientist from Plant and Food Research, affirms, "We know there are multiple benefits to Greenshell™ mussel powder, and we are certain that more will be uncovered as research continues."

With limited supply and anticipated growing global demand for our Greenshell™ mussel powder due to these powerful natural health benefits for both humans and pets, the industry felt it was crucial to introduce this quality mark.

“We all want to safeguard our products provenance and reputation on the world stage and provide quality assurance to our valued customers – that is why our industry came together and created this quality mark” Gary Hooper, CE of Aquaculture New Zealand.

Greenshell™ mussel powder is exported to various markets around the world and often buyers are not aware that there are powders available of varying quality. It’s a great selling point to be able to state that a product ‘contains Greenshell™ mussel powder’, but it is the high-quality powder containing only Greenshell™ mussel extract that clinical trials have been conducted with. Therefore, it’s important for our reputation as credible and trusted suppliers, to clearly identify our authentic products and give quality assurance to our customers.

In terms of design, the new quality mark features a Māori koru, symbolising new beginnings, growth, and harmony. The inclusion of the koru signifies new growth within the mussel industry, while also serving as a strong indicator of the product's origin in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The logo design for the industry A+ Sustainable Aquaculture Programme also showcases a koru, establishing a connection to this voluntary environmental programme which almost all farmers within the industry have committed to. This connection emphasises the industry's commitment to continuous improvement and best practices that align with environmental and community interests.

To maintain the credibility and integrity of this programme, those producers that have voluntarily signed up, have agreed to maintain records of each batch test conducted by an independent laboratory, proving that their product meets the agreed criteria for this quality mark. As the industry representative body, Aquaculture New Zealand, will ensure this compliance.

Further information on this quality mark can be found on the Aquaculture New Zealand website www.aquaculture.org.nz/greenshell-mussel-powder

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