The entire MullerOne project, which involves the use of ozone, is totally innovative. It introduces and achieves slime extraction while the mollusks are in a state of complete wellbeing - obtaining a product of high chemical and organoleptic quality - far removed from that obtained by means of invasive and stressful stimulants (e.g. vinegar, salt), techniques that have been used so far. The percentages of multi-polysaccharides and proteins featured in MullerOne slime are very high, thus more effective in their anti-inflammatory, soothing and cell-regenerating action. Another benefit of using ozone is the immediate sanitization of the extract due to the elimination of a large part of the degenerative microorganisms and mildews that are present on the snail's body. The slime extracted using this method has a very high preservability and is no longer susceptible to fast degenerative processes.
An important piece of data: the snails utilized for the extraction do not suffer any biological damage nor any harm. They can therefore be put back into the enclosures or be sold, as soon as they exit the machine. It has been proven that farmed mollusks can undergo several extractions without biological damage if properly fed and irrigated in the enclosures.
The machine has been set up for the production of extracted and saleable slime, which features the properties required by the market. The quantity of 3-3.5 kg per 1500-2000 subjects (corresponding to approximately 20 kg live weight) is what is required for a high-quality slime, obtained by means of the machine.
The extraction of the snail slime consists of two phases:
1. SANITIZATION OF THE SNAILS (30 minutes): the snails are delicately showered with a mixture of osmotized water and ozone. In addition, during this process a phase of revitalization and awakening of the animal takes place.
2. SLIME EXTRACTION: snails are stimulated through the nebulization of a solution composed of natural substances.
The stimulant formula ensures a physiological, non-invasive solicitation that does not undermine the health of the animal within the productive cycle, ensuring a qualitatively stable snail slime with a low percentage of pathogens and mildews. The snail slime effectively develops its properties when the extractive process is in accordance with the procedures of protection from contamination. A ‘closed’ process actually provides a drastic reduction of bacterial count and keeps the pH value below 3% for an effective preservability.
Initially, snail slime was extracted by means of saline solutions composed of NaCl, vinegar, surfactants and other inappropriate substances that, besides having an extremely aggressive action on the animal, required a high quantity of cellular water by osmosis. This process resulted in a condition of dehydration and extreme stress on the snails, which consequently died after few extraction cycles, or sometimes just the first.
Due both to ethical reasons and a drop in terms of quality and profits, mainly because of the high mortality rate, more and more attempts were made to preserve the health and well-being of the animal, which led, after much research and testing, to the development of a more appropriate, non-aggressive slavering solution that does not involve a condition of excessive stress on the animal. The slavering solution is aimed at stimulating the snails to produce significant amounts of slime, without causing them any damage and simultaneously preserving the final extracted product: the snail slime.
During the extraction phase, carried out using a piece of machinery called MullerOne (defined as ‘cruelty free’), the slavering solution is nebulized over the snails, which instinctively react to the contact with this solution. The slavering liquid, although contaning an acid pH, does not cause stress or dehydration like the previous saline solutions did, it only tickles the snail, which, in an effort to bring its own epidermis pH back to its physiological value, produces slime.
ADVANTAGES FOR THE SNAIL BREEDER
The dual profitability is the key element of MullerOne as it provides the breeder willing to deal with slime collection with a double opportunity for income: the sale of the mollusk and the sale of its slime. The business potential can be easily evaluated by making a simple projection: the procedural guideline establishes a three-cycle process, each of which involves one extraction in the morning and one in the afternoon and, between each cycle, a 10-day ‘recovery’ phase inside the enclosures.
The machine is easy to use and maintain. The extraction must take place in specific rooms dedicated to the procedure and must follow a procedural guideline that enables the correct use of the machinery. Delivery, installation and technical-operational assistance for starting production and for any further possible problems are guaranteed.
The Heliciculture Institute of Cherasco association collects the extracted product from the following subjects and under the following conditions:
• Managers of outdoor full-biological-cycle Helix Aspersa breeding farms, with reproducers and production chain certified ‘CHERASCO SNAIL METHOD’, and those regularly enrolled at the Snail Breeders National Association.
• Snail breeders who have purchased and installed the entire MullerOne production process on their farm. (Slime from their own snails.).
• Snails subject to extraction must be managed in full environmental and nutritional harmony as required by the production protocol.
• Timing, production parameters and the stimulant solution for the extraction must be those indicated by the Heliciculture Institute.
• The snail slime extraction by means of the MullerOne machine must follow a strict procedure aimed at obtaining a product, which is selected based on its purity (the elimination of all the potentially contaminating agents).