Construction begins on a $ 20 million marine extract hub

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Sanford Chief Innovation Officer Andrew Stanley said it was exciting to have a new center with increased production and research capacity.

Morgane Solignac / Stuff

Sanford Chief Innovation Officer Andrew Stanley said it was exciting to have a new center with increased production and research capacity.

Construction of a $ 20 million marine extracts center has started in Blenheim and will help meet growing demand for green mussel powder.

Sanford’s new facility in the Riverlands industrial area will be six times the size of the nearby seafood giant’s existing center.

It is expected to be completed in August next year and will include a research lab and factory.

Sanford chief innovation officer Andrew Stanley said the center would allow the company to increase production of green mussel powder to meet growing demand.

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New Zealand is the only country that produces powder from mussel meat. It is used as an anti-inflammatory.

“The green mussel is the only species to have recognized and validated bioactivity,” said Stanley.

“The powder is used for health and joint pain. It’s especially good for people who have sports-related joint problems.

Sanford chief innovation officer Andrew Stanley holds up a bottle of mussel powder tablets.  Its new center in Blenheim will boost powder production.

SCOTT HAMMOND / STUFF

Sanford chief innovation officer Andrew Stanley holds up a bottle of mussel powder tablets. Its new center in Blenheim will boost powder production.

Stanley said the current facility produces around 120 tonnes per year of mussel powder, using two dryers.

“The new site will accommodate up to eight dryers and we will have the capacity to extract mussel oil from the powder,” he said.

Stanley said he would also be able to produce commercial quantities of new marine extracts, such as marine collagen for the cosmetics industry.

“Our marine collagen is made from fish skin and can be electrospun, creating nanofibers and nanosheets that can be used directly on the skin as a mask.

“It’s very high-tech, it’s very specialized and it’s great value.

“This [the new centre] is extremely exciting, it has a lot of potential to create new value, new jobs, new opportunities for the future, ”said Stanley.

Sanford Bioactives' new marine extract center is expected to be completed in August.

Provided

Sanford Bioactives’ new marine extract center is expected to be completed in August.

The new center will employ up to 48 people, from process workers to highly skilled scientists.

Stanley said some positions would be difficult to fill and the company was considering a graduate program, internships and other ways to get the people it needed.

“My vision for this installation is that it can be a collaborative installation and something that can be of use to secondary and higher education institutions around the place.

“I’m really keen to have a good engagement with local schools and institutes … So there is a career path identified for newcomers and great learning opportunities using it as a teaching center. . “

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