Musseling-up: High-Value Greenshell Mussel Foods
Principal Investigator: Dr Matt Miller, Cawthron Institute
Collaborating Organisations: Massey University, Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust, University of Chester
“Musseling-up: high-value Greenshell™ mussel foods” is a research partnership between Sanford Ltd and Cawthron Institute aimed at identifying and validating the health benefits of Greenshell™ mussels, in particular looking at their potential anti-inflammatory qualities for improved joint and bone health and increased mobility.
Led by Dr Matt Miller, working closely with Dr Sabrina Tian for the industry partner Sanford, the team has measured the health-promoting characteristics of GSM over an annual cycle. This has enabled a better understanding of the potential for developing premium mussel products with more benefits to the consumer. Novel rapid analytical methods were developed for measuring the composition of GSM by near infrared technologies (NIR). This technological advance enables the industry to have a greater understanding of the health-benefit value of mussels while still on-farm. This facilitates rapid and early decision-making and selection of premium quality mussels for specific product lines, an approach that was previously not possible to perform in a timely, accurate or cost-efficient manner. The new data from this novel technique will drive selection of GSM that have higher nutritional characteristics and potential anti-inflammatory qualities for improved joint and bone health and increased mobility.
The project has shed new light of the efficacy of GSM foods and components. A team at Massey University led by Prof Marlena Kruger and Dr Fran Wolber is providing new knowledge about the individual components and fractions of GSM and their biological role in promoting immune, cartilage and bone health. Similarly, the development of an in vivo model in rats has enabled assessment of GSM effects on metabolic syndrome (obesity), inflammation, osteoarthrosis and osteoporosis. We have identified a biomarker that indicates that GSM helps reduce cartilage break down. This result is confirmed by histology results from the in vivo trial showing GSM aiding in protecting knee cartilage. Furthermore, we have identified the sub-class of lipids that are likely to have protective effects in bone health.
The project has also developed new food formats that contain GSM which can be included into foods such as health shakes and smoothies that retain the benefit but mask the smell. Different GSM food formats were tested in a clinical trial to determine the bioavailability of the beneficial lipid fractions in humans. Initial results have shown that key omega 3 components are more readily available and to a greater extent in the whole GSM natural food than mussel powders or extracted GSM oil. This result indicates that the best format for humans to consume to gain the most benefit of the GSM may be the whole mussel.
Together, these studies have laid the foundation for providing the seafood-eating public with solid fact-based information that will enable health-promoting food choices, and also enable the seafood industry to leverage the inherent biological value in GSM, one of New Zealand’s most well-established sustainable seafood aquaculture industries.
Immune Health highlights
Plant & Food Research, on behalf of HVN, recently presented a live Zoom webinar about their latest consumer insights. In March 2019 an on-line study was commissioned across China to quantify learnings from previous qualitative HVN studies, relating to infant, gut,...
Sanford Ltd collaboration with Massey University and HVN focuses on the impact of consuming NZ Greenshell™ mussels in combatting early stages of osteoarthritis
HVN is continuing its partnership with Sanford through the funding of a third research project into the benefits of Greenshell™ mussels (GSM). This latest project led by Professor Marlena Kruger from Massey University will examine the role of GSM in assisting a...
Read about how HVN-funded research by Dr Tom Wheeler from the Cawthron Institute could soon see algae as an alternative protein. The Cawthron Institute has been investigating karengo's superfood potential alongside industry partners Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Wakatū...