Block 1. Consumer perception of healthy seafood (month 0-54)
This block will deal with consumer studies in order to identify the market opportunities for functional food products based on seafood as a raw material. This will help develop functional seafood concepts that consumers would like and accept. Also, consumer testing of the products will be performed in order to guide technological development processes. This block of work will be carried out by 4.RIVO, with a close interaction with activities from project 2.1 CONSUMERSURVEYand 2.4 CONSUMEREVALUATE.
Block 2. Development of functional seafood products via dietary modulation of the fish (month 0-54)
The first innovative product development in this block will be the production of selenium enriched seafood, by enriching the fish feed with Se-(alkyl)selenocysteine enriched plant materials. This requires firstly to produce Se-enriched plants from garlic; secondly to include this material into the fish feed and thirdly the production of Se-enriched fish. The fish flesh will then be assessed for organoleptic and functional quality and stability throughout processing, storage and distribution. Once the approach has shown to be successful, after 18 months, other aquacultured species will be fed with Se-enriched plants. Also, research will focus on producing and scaling up a reliable Se-fertilization and production method which can provide a constant Se-(alkyl)selenocysteine enriched plant materials. The production of Se-(alkyl)selenocysteine enriched plants will be carried out by 34.PRI and the production of Se-enriched feed and fish by 4.RIVO. After the first 18 months, other functional products envisaged via dietary modulation of the fish can be obtained by using fish feed sources rich in taurine, anserine and iodine in collaboration with RTD pillar 5. In this block, the assessment of organoleptic quality (4.RIVO), retention of functional components (24.FRCF, 17.IPIMAR, 26.UiT) and product stability during storage (11.IdF-CSIC) will be monitored.
Block 3. Innovative functional food development based on restructured/fillet based seafood (month 0-54)
The aim is to introduce different ingredients such as dietary fibres from plant and/or marine origin, some very interesting and recently obtained antioxidant dietary fibres, as well as taurine, and inulin to restructured or fillet based products. The approach is to merge, wherever possible, both functional (health) and technological advantages into the products through the ingredients added, and make the best use of under-utilised fish species. This is the case when using antioxidant dietary fibres: the beneficial effects of dietary fibres as such will be present in the restructured product, and at the same time, a prevention of the oxidation of PUFA of the fish flesh, through the antioxidant components of the antioxidant dietary fibres can be obtained. This will result in benefits from the organoleptic, nutritional, and health point of view. Fibres also have good water holding capacity that will help in the formulation of several restructured products. Not only the ingredients added to seafood, but also the different processing steps during product development, must assure the retention of the already existing health beneficial compounds in seafood, such as such as Se, or taurine, and must avoid the formation of other potentially harmful substances, such as trans fatty acids or the PUFA oxidation products. The part of this block of work, which involves restructured products development, studies of structure and functionality, and the interactions of the functional seafood components and in vitro nutrition studies, will be carried out at 11.IdF-CSIC. The analysis of the technological properties of a selected number of under-utilised species as raw material, as well as the modelling of the changes/retention/losses during processing and storage of some beneficial components naturally occurring in seafood, will be carried out at 24.FRCF, 17.IPIMAR, 26.UiT and 41.MOERE. 49.TEAGASC will deal with studies incorporating taurine and inulin to fillets and ready meals. 13.TNO Nutrition will assess the digestibility and antimicrobial capacity of some selected functional foods by in vitro studies with the intestinal model (TIM), developed in this research centre.
Block 4. Intervention studies (month 36-54)
In the second half of the project, dietary intervention studies of those more promising seafood products formulations based on results from Blocks 1-3 are foreseen. This block of work is linked to RTD Pillar 1.
Block 5. Industrial implementation (month 36-54)
Industrial implementation of the functional seafoods will be done through pilot studies in selected industries or SMEs and by demonstration projects. Industries (e.g. Pescanova, Angulas Aguinaga) with a strong interest in the development of restructured products coming from this project have been selected for pilot studies. Pilot studies may also be needed for scaling up the production of some of the ingredients or the aquaculture production systems. Finally, the procedure for organizing and launching calls for demonstration projects, so that a number of SMEs across Europe can be benefited from this project, is described in section 6.2.