Dog Health Articles - Green Lipped Mussel Quality
"Is 'Flex' joint care made with freeze dried Green Lipped Mussel (because I have heard that freeze dried is not so good) ?"
We are hearing this question more and more and we are not sure what or who is prompting it, but we think it deserves a full and technical answer. It's hard enough for the consumer to understand and appreciate all there is to know about supplements and make an informed choice and so here is your guide to Green Lipped Mussel quality.
Most green lipped mussel extracts and concentrates at whatever quality level are freeze dried, and the remaining ones are "spray dried". There are less than half a dozen manufacturers of Green Lipped Mussel extract in New Zealand and they generally disclose how their products are made.
Top quality products however all share the following characteristics
1) New Zealand grown - the green lipped mussel can and does live in several locations throughout the world, but only the New Zealand variety has provenance as a joint care neutraceutical. Increasingly we may see Asian and South American mussels used in lieu of New Zealand ones if they are proved to work as well.
2) The mussels must be harvested in season, which only lasts for 4-6 weeks. Out of season the goodness can be 50% lower.
3) The processing of the mussel must be done straight away without being stored or deep frozen.
4) The flesh of the mussel must be removed without using heat in the process. This is perhaps the most significant step in preserving quality in the extract. While steam stripping of the flesh is quick and efficient, vital ingredients are degraded. Therefore a more labour intensive cold method must be used or a cold mechanical system employed.
5) The extracted flesh is then freeze dried, but it is important that the modern type of freeze drier is used as the older driers have a preheating process included before the freeze drying is done. Spray drying does involve relatively high heat, but only for a short time. Damage is therefore limited.
6) The extract or concentrate must be stabilised to prevent oxidation of the all-important lipids contained (Omega 3 oils to the layman) Few companies do this and often use their own patented methods.
7) At no stage are the lipids extracted. Extracted lipids command a very high price for human anti arthritic oils, and green lipped mussel extract with most of the oils removed is frequently used in lower performance supplements and as an additive to pet foods and treats.
8) A proper extract has had nothing removed. It's lipid content should be as harvested, about 9-11% so beware claims that triple or quadruple strength extracts exist - they don't. Inferior Green Lipped Mussel with most of the lipids removed is about a quarter of the cost of the genuine article.
Our 'Flex Jointcare' range meets all of the above criteria and we are 100% satisfied that we couldn't provide our consumers with a higher quality green lipped mussel extract if we tried !