‘Musseling Up’ 2.0 – Investigating the nutritional properties of Greenshell™ mussels

The “Musseling Up 2.0” project continues research that aims to move New Zealand’s Greenshell Mussel industry away from a commodity-based market to a higher value market by scientifically validating nutritional benefits.

After completing the two-year ‘Musseling Up’ research project in 2019, Cawthron Institute and Sanford Ltd have received renewed funding from the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge enabling their ongoing collaboration to research and communicate the benefits of Greenshell™ mussel (GSM) food products.

The first tranche of ‘Musseling Up’ clinical research was focused on looking at potential anti-inflammatory qualities, improved joint and bone health, and increased mobility obtained in trial participants who consumed Greenshell mussels. 

The second tranche, which began in 2020, is focused on producing a health claim for Greenshell mussels by conducting two clinical trials (by researchers at Massey University) that explore the previous findings.

Researchers at Massey University are conducting the ROAM (Researching Osteoarthritis and Greenshell™ Mussels) Study to research the effects of Greenshell™ Mussel (GSM) intake on early signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, and other health outcomes associated with osteoarthritis including inflammation, inflammatory diets and nutritional and lifestyle risk factors. The project also includes investigations of mātauranga Māori relating to the consumption of GSM products and how Māori have historically utilised them for health purposes.

Collectively this research could inform the consideration of health claims not only for osteoarthritis symptoms like functionality and pain, but also for physiological signs of osteoarthritis such as cartilage breakdown. It will also contribute to the understanding of the mechanism causing recession of symptoms such as inflammation and cartilage degradation.