Shuck and awe: Japanese oyster company shells out on first beauty and nutritional supplement
The “8th Sea Oyster Supplement” came to fruition under the guidance of Professor Hitoshi Shirakawa, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, who specialises in nutritional science and molecular biology.
Founded in 2000, General Oyster runs directly operated restaurants and oyster bars across Japan, as well as a wholesale business to supply oysters that meet safety standards stipulated by the country’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The 8th Sea Oyster Supplement is made from oysters that are purified using the firm’s patented technology, which utilises concentrated deep sea water from Nyūzen in Toyama Prefecture to optimise the balance of mineral elements in sea water and oysters.
“Oysters are rich in nutrients such as zinc. Furthermore, we added vitamin D, which has gained attention due to COVID-19, to the formulation. Data has shown that many people lack these two nutritional components in their regular dietary intake. Notably, two tablets contain the amount of zinc in four oysters,” the firm said.
Presented in the form of sugar-coated tablets, the supplement is targeted at women in their 30s to 50s, who are highly conscious of beauty and overall health. The firm also hopes that it would appeal to even those who do not like oysters.
Following a survey involving 200 participants held between 24 February and 31 March, the product will be officially launched on General Oyster’s online shop, e-Oyster, from late April.
What is the 8th Sea Oyster?
According to General Oyster, the “eighth sea” refers to an ideal environment for oysters that cannot be created in any of the seven seas of the world.
Throughout the year, the firm transports oysters sourced from farms all over Japan to its purification centre in Nyūzen, where they are purified in a tank of deep sea water for two days or more until they become “almost sterile”.
Aside from the requirements set by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the firm has also established its own guidelines to ensure that the oysters are free of bacteria that are harmful to the human body.
In addition, internal hygiene checks and surveys by external hygiene research organisations are regularly conducted to ensure that the facilities remain in prime condition.
Concurrently, General Oyster is working on the seedling production, aquaculture and oyster-processing aspects of its business, through a land-based aquaculture experimental facility in Okinawa Prefecture and a processing plant in Iwate Prefecture.
These efforts are part of the company’s “sixth industrialisation of the oyster industry” to provide a consistent supply of safe, high-quality oysters.
“We will continue to improve the safety of oysters via cutting-edge technology, and provide delicious oysters to as many people as possible. For example, we are working on the development of completely virus-free oysters. At the same time, we will press ahead with the utilisation of seawater resources. For our future products, we plan to use deep sea water from Kumejima in Okinawa Prefecture."