Traditionally the Maoris of New Zealand have always regarded the Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) as an excellent food source conferring health and well being. The observation that Maoris whose diet was rich in these mussels were less likely to suffer joint disease problems provided the early impetus for further scientific investigation during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The culmination of the international scientific endeavour during this time has produced a number of significant technological breakthroughs and subsequent patents.
In the early 1980s, a number of small animal clients reverted to the use of dry powdered Green Lipped Mussel extracts, particularly if other prescribed anti-inflammatory treatments were either ineffective or produced side effects such as vomiting. It often transpired that the owners themselves had been already taking the product to good effect. Similarly, a small number of horse owners found themselves in the same position and came to take the preparation themselves with good effect. Typically many of the small animal and horse owners using the freeze-dried mussel extracts saw some clinical improvement, usually within the first month.
However, there were occasionally problems with variability of response, allergic reactions or consequences of a high salt content on clinical management and palatability.
During the mid to late 80s, international researchers investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of Perna canaliculus, (New Zealand Green Lipped mussel) found that these were amongst the most potent exhibited by a natural nutritional substance. Unfortunately, normal processing of the extracts by using a steam-based and other conventional methods denatures much of the EFA activity associated with anti-inflammatory activity.
The development of cold processing techniques discovered a new, natural way in which to process the components of the mussel extracts in order to ensure consistent levels of activity.