ProSeaFood - Innovative processing of seaweed for novel, healthy food products and ingredients

Agricultural food production faces large technological and environmental challenges to remain sustainable, highlighting a pressing need for utilization of new food sources and alternative production sites. Brown seaweeds are important as food in East Asia, but presently underutilized in the Western world. Large-scale, sustainable cultivation is now increasing the availability of high-quality seaweed biomass in Europe. However, for brown seaweed to become a widespread food ingredient, improved processing methods to increase the edibility and nutritional value of both new and existing products are required.

The primary objective of the "ProsSeaFood" project is to apply advanced processing methods to increase the digestibility and nutrient availability of brown seaweeds. This will be achieved through employing enzymes and fermentation to increase nutritional availability and remove inedible or potentially harmful substances, and to introduce novel sensory properties. Based on the processed ingredients, the project will further develop innovative food products that are nutritious, tasteful and have well-documented effects on consumer health.

The project consortium includes partners from Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Spain, combining expertise in seaweed cultivation, biomass processing, fermentation, enzymology, and product development and quality control, to cover the value chain from raw material to finished food products. The project is research-driven for the development of the processing methods, with a strong industrial collaboration for product conceptualization, development and quality control.

Keywords: Seaweed, Sustainable food, Enzymes, Fermentation, Food safety

Type: Research & Innovation

groups photo

Coordinated by: Dr. Øystein Arlov - SINTEF NORWAY

5 partners:

  • SWEDEN: Lund University      
  • NORWAY: Seaweed Energy Solutions AS      
  • ICELAND: Matís
  • SPAIN: Desarrollos Panaderos Levantinos (DPL)  and Eurocastell S.A.T 

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Publication of research results:

  • Composition analysis and minimal treatments to solubilize polysaccharides from the brown seaweed Laminaria digitata for microbial growth of thermophiles

This article is about solubilization of brown seaweed carbohydrates by minimal pre-treatment and utilization of the extracts by thermophilic bacteria Rhodothermus marinus and Bacillus methanolicus .In this work it is proven that minimal pre-treatment can be used to create nutrients for microbial growth but selecting the conditions for the targeted bacteria is also important.

This review covers; structural differences between the most predominant marine algal polysaccharides, extraction processes, modification alternatives, as well as a summary of current and potential next-generation application areas. It has been suggested the construction of smaller units may generate better defined molecules that are more suitable for biomedical applications. Enzymatic modification is a promising tool for the generation of more defined, targeted biomolecules.