Consumers have become concerned about the limitation of seafood sources. There is an increase in the amounts of seafood by-products due to growth of aquaculture. Recovery and utilization of byproducts can be improved and the potential health benefits of new components from seafood by-products need to be tested for the efficacy. The consumers’ change in lifestyle is demanding for safe (convenience) seafood products which contributes to their health and have a high eating quality.
In the first project the main objective is to screen, map and recover new health beneficial compounds from seafood by-products by applying advanced mild refining processes to keep the functionality of the compounds intact, to prevent the formation of unwanted toxic compounds (e.g. trans fatty acids) and to eliminate toxic persistent organic pollutants (e.g. PCBs or dioxins). The subsequent objective is to develop new functional seafood products with proven health effects, accepted by consumers.
Within the second project the main objective is to ensure safety and high quality convenience seafood products, defined as lightly preserved and semi-finished products for ready to eat meals in a total chain approach by (1) minimising the contamination during processing, (2) destroying pathogens with alternative food processing and (3) preservation technologies and preventing growth in the product by a combination of different hurdles, including protective cultures and active packaging.
In the third project the main objective is to secure a high sensory and nutritional quality of seafood. This being (1) colour, flavour, texture, and (2) nutritional value, i.e. high level of antioxidants, n-3 lipids, and low levels of potentially toxic oxidation products of seafood products. The products include fresh and frozen fish fillets, fish based products, such as fish pâté, and fish oil enriched systems.
The fourth project has as its main objective to develop seafood products, from both captured and farmed fish, as functional food beyond the existing intrinsic nutritional value of seafood. These products will contain health-promoting compounds aimed at improving intestinal health, lipid metabolism, weight management, as well as potential prevention of cancer. There is a clear connection to RTD Pillar 1, where these effects will be studied. Some of these compounds, e.g. antioxidant dietary fibres of marine or vegetable origin, will be incorporated as ingredients to restructured and fillet based products. Other compounds, such as Se-(alkyl)selenocysteine from vegetable origin, will be incorporated via dietary modulation of fish in aquaculture. The functional seafood products will have the quality and convenience characteristics required and accepted by target consumer groups, as identified in the projects in RTD Pillar 2.