The Doctors Camprasse have taken many trips to observe mollusc farms (in the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia). These trips have made it possible to establish the specifications to be met by a product sourced externally, and the requirements for setting up our own mollusc farm on the island of Mauritius. We aim to achieve this by 2022.
The structure, composition and cultivation of molluscs led the Doctors Camprasse to single out the Pinctada maxima for their work:
- Very large oysters allowing devices to be cut straight from the shell
- Composition and colour suitable for medical use (ex: dental implants), unlike the Pinctada margaritifera species
- Oysters cultivated in large quantities for pearl production
- Species not featuring in Appendix 13 of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, unlike the Tridacna gigas species
- Regulations allowing the reproduction of Pinctada maximaon mollusc farms
- Pinctada maximaoyster cultivation zones that are economically favourable
The quality of the oyster shell is assessed in 4 categories (from A to D), depending on the presence of external flaws or impurities from the biotope.
The shells used by MEGA BIOPHARMA are all category A: they are free of any perforations caused by parasites. Visual checks are conducted whenever a new batch of shells is received. This category of shell has also been used, for several years now in Asia, for skincare and dietary supplements.
To ensure that the shells cultivated will be category A, a balanced ecosystem needs to be put in place. This involves creating controlled seeding and cultivation conditions and preventing the proliferation of marine parasites that cause flaws.
The size and age of the oyster are among the main criteria that determine the supply of the biomaterial, depending on the intended use.
For their work, the Doctors Camprasse select oysters of different ages depending on the intended use of the mother-of-pearl:
- Oysters 1 to 3 year(s) old: for the manufacturing of the biomaterial in powder or percolation water form
- Oysters 3 to 10 years old: for the manufacturing of pieces of substitute bone (compact mother-of-pearl)