Green-lipped mussels move from pharma to food with seafood seasoning

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

"We have created a concentrated seafood flavouring that enables chefs to experiment further with their seafood recipes,” says Anthony Jacobs, Managing Director at Pharmalink..
"We have created a concentrated seafood flavouring that enables chefs to experiment further with their seafood recipes,” says Anthony Jacobs, Managing Director at Pharmalink..

Related tags: Flavor, Fatty acid

German pharmaceutical company, Pharmalink, is moving from pharma to food with a contaminant-free seafood flavouring made from green-lipped mussels.

With twenty years’ experience in extracting green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus​) for their anti-inflammatory compounds, the pharmaceutical company has teamed up with Taiwanese flavour house, Simpson Biotech, to create a natural seafood seasoning.

"Combining extraction experience with processing history has created a novel seafood essence to match the fast demand from gourmet chefs for inspiring taste trends," ​said Pharmalink.

A patented hydrolisation purification process that took nearly two years to perfect guaranteed that there were no contaminants in the shellfish essence.    

President of the Taiwan-based company, Chiachin Sheu, said they had wanted to create an additive-free condiment that was in line with consumer expectations for clean label. “The manufacturing process was designed to firstly enhance both taste and secondly, to eliminate the possibility of unwanted seafood contaminants,” ​Sheu said.

Free from preservatives and stabilisers, the seafood seasoning came in a free-flowing, water-soluble powder form and could be up to 100% pure -  but the concentration could also be adjusted to meet customer demands.

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The Marlborough Sounds area in New Zealand has over 600 mussel farms.

The product was launched last week across Europe, Asia, and the US, and a spokesperson for Pharmalink said they would be targetting food manufacturers by region, focussing on the seasoning’s versatility in applications across different cuisines – from paella dishes and seafood chowder in Europe, to noodles and fish sauces in Asia.

Said to have a softer, sweeter taste than blue European mussels, the taste profile of the green variety was further enhanced by fast processing which guaranteed freshness - the mussels were freeze-dried within six hours of harvesting, with four kilograms of mussels yielding one kilogram of dried powder.

Green-lipped mussels have fallen victim to supply issues in the past due to disease, but Pharmalink said it could ensure a steady year-round supply by purchasing its mussels from various suppliers in south New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, extracts from the mussels are taken as food supplements for muscle and joint health.

According to the University of Waikato’s Biotechnology Learning Hub, green-lipped mussels were New Zealand’s most important aquaculture export, worth €108 million in 2012.

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