ITA | ENG
“HELIXREC - HelixRECovery: recovery of waste mucus from snail farming" aims to determine the composition of mucus extracts from different gastropod species, in relation to species, breeding method and extraction system. These data will provide the basis for obtaining a standardized derivative to be used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as a raw material in the production of creams, syrups or other medical products based on the functional properties of the extract. Snail mucus is already widely used in cosmetics and over-the-counter (OTC) products, but its biological properties are unproven, just as the composition of the secretion and its safety from a chemical and microbiological point of view is unclear. In order to better clarify the biological properties and to define a qualitative-quantitative standard of the components of snail secretion, the project will analyse the main components of the mucus of different snail species (Helix aspersa Muller and Maxima) of first, second and third generation from farms located in Sardinia. The final objective of the project is the creation of an experimental snail farm for the extraction of mucus suitable for the development of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
This 42-month project was funded by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 under Axis II “Thematic Projects”, action “Clusters”, which finances industrial research and experimental development projects in the 12 specialization areas identified by the National Research Programme (NRP) 2015-2020, in particular in the “Green Chemistry” specialization area.
For the implementation of this initiative, a budget of 1,495,043.78 euros was allocated to the following beneficiaries forming the public-private partnership:
- Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna “G. Pegreffi”, IZSS
- Is Olionis
- Democenter–Sipe Foundation
- University of Ferrara
Impact on the Territory
The end goal of the project is to obtain a natural, top-quality, certified raw material that meets all current requirements in terms of safety and business transparency, capable of meeting the needs of the cosmetics market and with great potential in the biomedical/health field. The recovery of a waste product from the animal supply chain and an increase in the turnover of snail farmers in Sardinia could also be a driver of innovation for all snail farms across Italy. The implementation of this project will make it possible for the first time to simultaneously assess a number of variables such as species, habitat, nutrition and extraction method in the production of snail mucus that will be certified as a raw material for the production of cosmetics and/or OTC products by Italian and/or foreign companies.