Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

ENRICHMAR Report Summary

Project ID: 606023
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Iceland

Final Report Summary - ENRICHMAR (Convenience Food Enriched with Marine based Raw Materials)

Executive Summary:
In recent years, marine-based bioactive ingredients extracted from low value by-products and underutilised raw material are being introduced into commercial products. Such products may obtain added value, both economical, for health and for more sustainable use of resources. Seaweed extracts from certain brown algae species, e.g. Fucus vesiculosus, have unique properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic activities, which make them highly attractive for use in various food systems. Due to positive preliminary tests it is believed that seaweed extracts can be highly competitive on the market and find various uses in food. A unique tasteless marine based omega-6/omega-3 both available on the market as powder and oil has the ability to regulate and maintain the body’s fatty acid balance while simultaneously safeguarding the daily need for omega-3 from fish and provide protective biological flavonoids from olives. By adding the unique omega blend to lean fish products, the lean fish products will acquire the desired properties of omega-3 rich fatty fish. Adding the omega blend to other foods like dairy and cereals, possibilities will open up for broader categories of convenience food for targeted consumers. Recent process improvements have created new possibilities for the use of marine based ingredients in functional foods.

The main aim of the EnRichMar project was to increase the value of convenience food by adding functional ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing, with confirmed bioavailability. The consortium of EnRichMar consisted of two ingredient producer SME’s and three food producing SME´s, all interested in strengthening their competiveness, increasing market share and creating business opportunities in national and European markets using the expert knowledge and capacity provided by four RTD partners. The focus was placed on fish oil, powder of fish oil and seaweed extracts, with the potentials to have positive health effects, increase product stability, enhance flavour and consequently contribute to salt reduction of the products to meet market demand. The first steps taken in the EnRichMar project, were upscaling of seaweed extract followed by evaluation of bioactivity by in-vitro measurements of seaweed extracts and omega blends. Parallel, consumer segments interested in enriched products were identified in order to direct further product development to meet the needs and wants of those segments. Seafood dishes, dairy and cereal products enriched with the seaweed extract and the omega blend were developed and effects of the processing and ingredients on sensory characteristics and stability were evaluated. Consumer liking of the enriched products per food category was evaluated. The physiological and mental effects of consuming food products enriched with seaweed extract and the omega powder developed in EnRichMar were evaluated in a double blind cross-over designed intervention study. As a result of the EnRichMar project, it is now possible to produce high value functional extracts and ingredients from marine seaweeds and the SME is steps closer to entry in lucrative new markets for the bioactive ingredients in different food systems. The ingredient SME focusing on the production of omega-6/omega-3 can extended their previous product range of bioactive products, and have now entered new markets for the bioactive ingredients in food systems due to foreseen launch of ready meal products containing the omega oil. The SMEs in EnRichMar have obtained valuable marketing information about functional foods and consumer views on functional foods in important markets and have developed enriched food prototypes based on information collect about the main target groups of interest. Further, they have now first-hand information about physiological effects of consuming the enriched foods. Integral to the project was the development, for each SME, of a new higher value business model for the future, based on the assertion that the development of convenience food enriched with the bioactive ingredients with confirmed bioavailability and bioactivity, will impact positively their financial performance.

Project Context and Objectives:
The main objective of the EnRichMar project was to increase the value of convenience food by adding functional ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing, with confirmed bioavailability. In recent years marine based biochemicals extracted from by-product fractions from the fish processing industry are being introduced into commercial products. There are limited varieties of convenience consumer food products enriched with bioactive ingredients at the European markets. The targeted consumer groups are athletes, elderly people and patients, but the products might also appeal to all health oriented consumers seeking ready-to-eat products. The food industry is now moving from producing nutritious food into food promoting health and well-being, preventing illness and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Innovation is one of the critical determinants of the economic success of businesses that wish to respond to changing customer demands, create new markets, and remain competitive in the long run. Scientific evidence to support nutritional and medicinal claims being made within the functional food and nutraceutical industry are being increasingly demanded. Several products such as dairy products, functional foods and drinks or dietary supplements including health-promoting ingredients (e.g. omega-3) are already on the market. For that reason, establishing a stable position and identifying the suitable gap on the market is more than challenging for SMEs, which are operating with scarce monetary and research resources and knowledge on marketing. Therefore, in addition to product development, it is important for SMEs to understand the realities in markets and strive for identifying such niche in the market, which is possible and realistic to fill by the SME with its resources and competences. These issues were considered in EnRichMar project by 1) conducting market study to identify such niche, which shows interest on products developed in the project, 2) testing developed product concepts and prototypes among the identified niche and 3) conducting market analysis to identify competitors within the identified niche and to provide tools to differentiate SMEs’ product and marketing offering from competitors’ one. It is expected that such activities significantly contribute to the participating SMEs’ efforts to penetrate and reach a stable position on the market.

The SME’s gained research input and knowledge from the RTDs to strengthen their market position. New markets for bioactive marine based products, seaweed and fish oil as ingredients in functional (sea) foods, cereal and dairy products have opened. The competitiveness of the SME´s has increased for the growing markets of food with bioactive compounds. The verification of physiological health effect of consumption of enriched food is of high importance to the food ingredients and the food producing companies.

Physical and mental health is fundamental to our personal well-being and the quality of our society. Attention on health aspects of increasing long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake motivated the food industry to incorporate these fatty acids into food products. The essential PUFAs EPA and DHA and also antioxidant compounds are of special interest for such enrichment purposes. Supplementation of frequently consumed foods such as diary, cereal and fish products is an efficient way to increase the n-3 PUFA intake. Incorporation of n-3 PUFAs into food also requires that they are stabilised against lipid oxidation, as these fatty acids can be quite unstable. Consumer preference is now overwhelmingly in the favour of natural preservation. The unique polyphenols found in seaweeds have been shown to have an outstanding antioxidant activity and thus can improve oxidative stability of the n-3 fatty acids or food products enriched with n-3 PUFAs effectively in a natural way.

Also, the antioxidative compounds derived from seaweed have a broad array of additional health promoting benefits such as prevention of diseases linked to oxidative stress (imbalance between free radicals and the antioxidative defence systems) including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The challenges facing the seafood industry is identifying added value processes for their raw materials. Also, seafood sources have been under critical attention regarding using the resources of the sea in a more sustainable way. By adding marine-based bioactive ingredients from low value by-products and underutilised raw material to foods they may obtain added value, both economical, for health and for more sustainable use of resources. There is a challenge for the seafood processing sector in particular to develop added value products and take into account food market trends.

The EnRichMar project aimed at developing food products enriched with marine based ingredients with verified bioactivity. This was aimed to be achieved through by collecting the needed market knowledge and product development and measuring physiological and mental effects of the developed enriched convenience food. The scientific and technical objectives can be summarised as follows:

1) Market knowledge: Marketing research in five European countries was conducted and different consumer segments identified interested in convenience seafood, cereal and dairy products enriched with the omega-6/omega-3 blend and/or seaweed. Following, concept testing was carried out in various markets of main interest for the SMEs in EnRichMar. The targets for the studies were consumers belonging to the most potential segment identified in the marketing research and chosen by the SMEs. Further, knowledge on consumers based on the outcome of the market research and concept testing and consumer evaluation of enriched products developed in WP3, outcome of bioactivity analysed within WP4 and other aspects of potential markets (e.g. competitors, distribution channels) was gathered and integrated to increase the possibility for SMEs to successfully penetrate to the identified markets.

2) Product development: Information from the concept testing in WP2 was used to guide the product development. Several seafood dishes, dairy and cereal products enriched with seaweed extract, omega oil and omega powder were developed. The influence of process, and storage on the sensory characteristics and stability of the products was investigated. The product development involved e.g. adjustments of recipes and production processes. The final steps in this work was evaluation of consumer liking of selected prototypes.

3) Physiological/mental effects of enriched convenience food: The bioactivity and physiological effects of consuming food enriched with seaweed extract and omega 3 powder, was estimated. First, the bioactivity of seaweed extracts and omega 3 powder was studied in-vitro, including cell based, inflammatory markers experiments to study e.g. the effects of the bioactive compounds on glucose and inflammatory markers. Finally the physiological and mental effects of consuming the enriched convenience foods was estimated in double blind cross-over designed intervention study.

Project Results:
Throughout the project, communication has been active between the RTD partners and also between the SMEs and RTDs. Overall, the collaboration within the EnRichMar consortium has been extraordinary good and contributed to successful progress and outcome of the project.
EnRichMar has significantly enhanced knowledge regarding development of seaweed and omega-3 enriched food products and interaction of these ingredients regarding functional properties, sensory characteristics and product stability. EnRichMar has contributed to advancement of knowledge and technological progress both for SMEs and consumers by generating information about:

1. Scale-up of seaweed extract
2. Quality assessment of seaweed extracts, and omega-3 oil and omega-3 powder as food ingredients
3. Marketing information about functional foods and consumer views on functional foods in important markets
4. Development of healthy convenience foods enriched with seaweed extracts and omega-3
5. Sensory characterization and shelf life of enriched convenience food products developed within the project
6. Training in technological solutions and processing, and know-how developed within the project
7. Information about physiological effects of consuming foods enriched with seaweed
8. Information about physiological effects of consuming foods enriched with omega-3

The objectives listed above are further reflected in the descriptions of the deliverables, milestones and results (given below).

The activities in the work program were divided over six work packages (WPs), each with several tasks. The whole duration of the project was 24 months. All activities related to functional ingredient processing, product development of products with the functional ingredients and effects of enriched foods are research and technological development activities (RTD). WP 1 was a demonstration activity and WPs 2, 3 and 4 were innovation related activities. The horizontal activities of the project were dedicated to dissemination and exploitation of the project (WP 5) and project management including coordination of all these activities (WP6).

Research, technological development and innovation related activities were divided into four work packages. A brief overview of these work packages is given below.

In the first step of the project (WP1), a scale-up of seaweed extract, previously developed by the SME Marinox was needed and was done in close collaboration with the RTD Matís. The aim was to establish well documented and verified scaled up processes, in addition to significant amounts of characterized end products to be used in WP3 and WP4.

Market research is essential for the food producer SMEs and the products developed within EnRichMar project. WP2 focused on identifying consumer segments interested in enriched products in order to direct further product development to meet the needs and wants of those segments. Knowledge on consumers and other aspects of potential markets was gathered and integrated to increase the possibility for SMEs to successfully penetrate to the identified markets. Different concepts of enriched seafood, dairy and cereal products were tested in markets of main interest to the SMEs in the project by on-line web questionnaires. This work provided vital input for product development in WP3. Additionally, external market analysis and internal company analysis (e.g. SWOT) was done within WP2 integrating both information gathered within WP2 and WP 3 and used as a basis for the marketing strategy and planning for these SMEs.

In WP3, oven ready seafood dishes, dairy and cereal products enriched with the seaweed extract, omega-3 powder and omega-3 oil were developed. The effects of the processing and ingredients on sensory characteristics and stability of the developed products were evaluated. The results delivered in WP3 were used to guide the choices of recipes for the product development and then adjusted in line with effects on sensory quality attributes. This step required process optimisations, e.g. extrusion of rye snack production in which cases the SMEs involved needed technical help from RTD. Sensory characteristics were analysed using descriptive profiling and the shelf life of the novel enriched food products was determined and consumer liking of the products developed was tested.

In WP4, the bioactivity of seaweed extract and bioavailability of omega-3 powder was analysed by in-vitro experiments. The outcome of the in-vitro studies was used to decide on the amounts need in enriched products. The effects of consuming the products enriched with seaweed extract and omega-3 powder products, with regard to physiological effects, effects on stress and mental health were tested in human volunteers in the intervention study (in-vivo). The intervention study was performed using a double blind cross-over design, where subjects consumed the products daily for 10 weeks.

A concise summary of the main results and progress made in the project follows. For clarity it is arranged according to the work packages with the main significant results specifically emphasized.

WP 1: Up-scaling of functional ingredient processing
The objectives of WP1 were (i) to choose the most promising extraction process giving functional ingredients with the highest antioxidant activity and flavour enhancing properties for pilot scale production; (ii) to identify problems arising from the scale-up and adapt the processes to fit the larger scale production and (iii) to scale up the production of functional ingredients from seaweeds and to produce sufficient amount of seaweed extracts to be used in the following work within the project.
Summary of progress and significant results:
The production of functional ingredients from the brown seaweed F. vesiculosus was scaled up in order to produce a sufficient amount of seaweed extracts for usage in other work packages of the EnRichMar project. Several pre-test trials were run at the RTD Matís pilot plant prior to the first large scale test runs to fine-tune parameters. Further, pilot trials were run between large scale productions to further adjust the process to both improve yields and process time. Three large scale productions were conducted within the project, a test run with the main objective to test the performance of all the equipment’s, followed by two large scale productions. Microbial status of the extracts was confirmed, chemical analysis was carried out and bioactivity tests were performed to confirm the quality and bioactivity of the seaweed extracts. Product Data Sheet, Material Data Sheet and application notes were prepared (WP5) based on the data produced. The scale up process was successful and Marinox is now able to produce significant amount of liquid extract per day.

WP 2: Market knowledge
The objectives of WP 2 were (i) to identify consumer segments interested in convenience seafood, cereals and milk products enriched with omega 3 and seaweed extract; (ii) develop written concepts describing different seafood, dairy and cereal products enriched with omega 3 and/or seaweed and test those among consumers belonging to the target group(s) identified in (i), and (iii) to develop a market oriented marketing strategy for end producer SMEs Ruislandia Oy, Grimur kokkur ehf and Den Eelder.
Summary of progress and significant results:
Marketing research revealed different consumer segments; five in Iceland, five in Finland, six in Germany, seven in Netherlands and four in Norway. The results also showed that at least one interesting and potential consumer segment from SMEs perspective could be found in each country. The study was intended to contribute by providing knowledge regarding different consumer segments and their characteristics. The results were utilized in identifying and selecting the most interesting consumer segment for further tasks in the project.
Concept testing of enriched seafood dishes was to determine product concepts that were likely to be successful on the market and to conclude what product characteristics were likely to appeal to consumers belonging to the target groups of interest to the SME Grimur Kokkur. In total, eight concepts were evaluated by targeted consumers in markets of main interest.
Seven product concepts dealing with dairy products enriched with omega-3 in adequate amounts were tested among consumers belonging to the most interesting segments for the SME Den Eelder. The information given to consumers varied based on ingredients included in the product concepts, intended health effect, marketing message etc.
Altogether 11 written product concepts based on the wishes of the SME Ruislandia were tested in the markets of interest among targeted consumers segments. Based on the outcome of the concept tests, the most promising concepts were chosen to guide further the product development work. Further the knowledge generated in the marketing research and concept testing can be utilized by the SMEs in product launch, marketing and sales.
The marketing strategy was prepared in three main steps. The first was to describe briefly marketing strategy and the main components of it. The second was to perform internal analysis for SMEs and market analysis in the SMEs’ chosen target markets. The third was to integrate the results of the analyses and develop managerial implications and recommendations to support SMEs activities. The breadth and depth of the work varied based on end producer SMEs’ aims. Both external market analysis, e.g. competitors, potential distribution channels, regulations and legislation related to enriched products and internal company SWOT-analysis was carried out. The collected information was integrated with information gathered via the marketing research and concept testing as well as information related to the product development and the measurements of bioactivity, and used as a basis for the marketing strategy and planning. Market data was collected via business insight databases and reports. The data for internal analysis was collected by interviewing the personnel responsible of the key functions within the SMEs, such as in marketing and logistics. External market information was collected in each country and integrated with consumer information in order to support SMEs decision making regarding product launch.

WP 3: Product development
The objectives of WP 3 were to develop oven ready seafood dishes, dairy and cereal products enriched seaweed extract and/or fish oil based on results delivered in WP2 (Market research and concept testing): (i) adjust recipes and product processing with regard to effects of enrichments with the bioactive compounds on e.g. the texture and taste; (ii) analyse sensory characteristics using descriptive profiling and study the shelf life/ storage stability (microbial analysis) of the enriched products; (iii) Study consumer acceptance by conducting central location or home use tests of 2-3 of the products developed per product category (oven ready seafood dishes, dairy and cereal product).
Summary of progress and significant results:
The product development in this WP was done in close collaboration between participating SMEs and RTD partners. The work was divided in subtasks depending on which type of products (seafood, dairy or cereal) were developed with the bioactive ingredients. Different technical challenges were faced by the partners in the project, depending on type of food product.
Various recipes suitable for enrichment of seafood products were developed and the changes to the food characteristics with the addition of bioactive ingredients were studied. During early stages, it was decided to focus on enrichment with omega oil instead of omega powder due to technical difficulties using the powder. Fatty acid stability, sensory quality and shelf life of enriched seafood meals using different production methods were studied. Further, the effects of the combination of omega-3 and seaweed extracts on oxidation, sensory properties and shelf life was studied. Finally consumer acceptance of product prototypes with and without health claims was evaluated. Seaweed extract had interesting properties regarding influence on flavour, texture, and indications of protective effects against lipid oxidation of oven heated meals were observed. Information about sensory quality and product stability is now available for several prototypes, and two meal types were evaluated by consumer in a home use test, with a positive outcome. The information obtained is valuable for the SMEs Grimur Kokkur and will be used to gain competitive advantage in marketing of omega-3 and seaweed enriched convenience products. One of the products developed within EnRichMar will be launched early in 2016, and their aim is to launch other products within the enriched category in the product line of Grimur Kokkur in the months to come.
During the first months of the project, the main focus was on the development of dairy products with suitable levels of EPA and DHA from the omega powder for the intervention study. This part of the product development resulted in two enriched yogurts that were used daily by the participants in the intervention study for 10 weeks. For development of marketable enriched yoghurts, the focus was placed on using the omega oil for product enrichment. The products were characterized on particle size distribution, physical stability, texture and sensory attributes. Based on these results, a prototype was selected to evaluate consumer liking in a central location test, with focus on different nutritional and health claims. Further, the two types of omega-3 enriched yogurts that were used in the intervention every day for 10 weeks were evaluated. Prior to the intervention study, the products were tested by intervention participant with a positive outcome. However, the developed dairy products have not reached marketable products as further optimization of the flavour of the enriched yogurts is required.
The main emphasis was on development of the seaweed extract enriched rye products for the intervention at early stages in the project. Product development of marketable cereal products were running in parallel. Enriched rye snack products were delivered in time for the intervention, with confirmed in-vitro bioactivity. Four potential commercial extruded rye snacks were developed, and studied with regard to their flavour profile, stability (antioxidant capacity) and consumer acceptance. Results of a central location test showed that seaweed extract is a promising ingredient to be used in rye snack type products. Given information about functional features still enhanced the ratings. The results can be used for successful industrial development of healthy, tasty snacks enriched with an underutilized health-beneficial ingredient. Thus, the outcome of the study was positive for seaweed enriched rye snacks, and the developed seaweed rye snacks with additional flavourings are ready for commercial production and for market.

WP 4: Physiological/mental effects of enriched convenience food
The overall objectives of WP 4 were to analyse bioactivity and physiological effects of consuming food enriched with seaweed extract and omega 3 powder, with a focus on mental performance and anti-oxidant effect by (i) analysing antioxidant activity and anti-diabetic effects of the seaweed extract using chemical and cell based assays to detect cellular antioxidant activity, analyse the total polyphenol content (TPC) and antioxidant properties of rye-products enriched with seaweed extract; (ii) measure the bioaccessibility of eicosapentaenoic fatty acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic fatty acid (DHA) from omega powder, omega oil and yoghurt enriched with omega powder as determined in TIM model; (iii) Determine the physiological, cognitive and mood effects of enriched products in healthy human volunteers during a 10 week intervention study.
Summary of progress and significant results:
Bioactive properties of Fucus vesiculosus extracts were evaluated by different chemical and cell based assays. The focus was on the antioxidant activity and anti-diabetic activity. In connection with the product development of rye snacks for the intervention study, methods were developed to analyse TPC, ORAC, TEAC and DPPH in the snacks in order to make sure that acceptable limit of ORAC values would be reached. The total polyphenol content of the two F. vesiculosus extracts studied was similar as for previous extracts produced by Marinox. The results from the cell based assays done at Matis showed a good antioxidant ability. The results for the anti-diabetic activities indicated that the seaweed extracts inhibited the activity of pancreatic #-amylase and intestinal #-glucosidase. Therefore, the results showed that the seaweed extract might be considered as an alternative natural source in the therapy of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
TIM intestinal model was used to determine the bioaccessibility of yogurt enriched with omega 3 powder. As a reference, the omega 3 powder and the omega 3 oil as such were also studied. The bioaccessibility of all products was acceptable and comparable. The results were used for the intervention study.
Application containing the study protocol of the human intervention study was submitted to the Medical Ethical Review Board. Selection of cognitive tests and urine/blood parameters was performed and all logistics with respect to the analyses were established. After approval of the study by the Medical Ethical Review Board, the recruitment volunteers began and the double blind placebo controlled intervention study was performed in 127 healthy human volunteers. The intervention consisted of consumer food: yogurt enriched with omega-3 or yogurt without omega-3 (placebo yogurt) and rye snack enriched with seaweed extracts or rye snack without seaweed extract (placebo rye snack). Three conditions were formed;

i) subjects received yogurt enriched with omega-3 + placebo rye snack (omega-3 condition);
ii) subjects received rye snack enriched with seaweed extracts + placebo yogurt (seaweed condition);
iii) subjects received placebo yogurt and placebo rye snack (placebo condition).

The participants consumed the test products for a duration of 10 weeks, while otherwise maintaining their habitual lifestyle and diet. The participants made three visits to TNO (screening, baseline and endpoint test). The main study parameters were the changes from baseline to endpoint in fatty acid composition in red blood cells and plasma, cognitive performance, serum clinical profile, anti-inflammatory markers, antioxidant parameters in plasma, serum and urine and mood.
The omega-3 group showed significant increase of omega-3 in plasma and red blood cells, indicating the enriched product components were absorbed by the body and therefore demonstrating a good bioavailability of omega-3 added to enriched food. More studies are needed either with integrators or with enriched food to unravel the really benefit of these molecules in particular on brain functions.

Potential Impact:
The overall aim of the EnRichMar project was to increase the value of convenience food by adding functional ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing, with confirmed bioavailability. The development of convenience enriched food with bioactive compounds will have impact on various sectors of the European food industry. Consumers in Europe are getting increasingly better informed about the important role healthy food plays in their life. Ingredients derived from the marine environment have found only limited entry into the food market by now, because of the challenges faced with producing them as well as formulating them into food products. These ingredients on the other hand may possess extraordinary bioactivities that can be of great benefit to consumers. Many would normally not consume these healthy ingredients partly due to tradition, lack of access to these ingredients and palatability issues that may arise by eating the raw materials that naturally contain these ingredients (e.g. seaweeds, fish livers etc.).

Mainly due to the very small size, none of the participating SMEs in EnRichMar had all the expertise, personnel and equipment available to realize their goals within the project, and thus, the involvement of the RTDs was critical for them to be able to successfully produce ingredients with verified bioactivity and formulate products containing the ingredients of high consumer acceptance. The SME’s in EnRichMar have gained invaluable research input and knowledge from the RTDs to strengthen their market position. In addition, new markets for the bioactive omega-3 fish oil based product, produced by BioActive Foods, as ingredients in foods has opened, with the launch of the enriched food product line of Grimur Kokkur (http://kvotinn.is/gera-hollan-mat-enn-hollari/). Further, it is likely that markets will open for the seaweed extract, produced by Marinox, as food ingredient as the collaborative work of Marinox and cereal producer Ruislandia will continue towards development of marketable seaweed enriched rye snack products. The continuation of creation of new unique marine ingredient based products will open up multiple spin-off opportunities that can have benefits well beyond the SMEs in EnRichMar.

Marinox has now finalised scale-up of seaweed extract, including estimate of the quality of seaweed extracts as food ingredients and verification of the bioactivity. They can now produce high value functional extracts and ingredients from marine seaweeds of high quality. They will therefore be able to use the seaweed in a sustainable manner and to offer extracts and ingredients which can successfully be incorporated into various different food products. After the participation in the EnRichMar project, Marinox is steps closer to entry in lucrative new markets for the bioactive ingredients in different food systems. Marinox aims at putting significant efforts into penetrating new markets and obtaining new customers who are interested in formulating the products of Marinox into food products where either increased health benefits or increased shelf-life, or both, are the goal.
BioActive Foods has extended their previous product range of bioactive products, and have now entered new markets for the bioactive ingredients in food systems as the SME Grimur Kokkur is launching products containing the omega oil from BioActive Foods. Grimur Kokkur is currently extending their current product range. In continuation of the project they are entering lucrative convenience food market with enriched seafood products.
The developed enriched rye snack products are very close to market and Ruislandia is continuing the work towards enriched product line in cooperation with Marinox. Further, the production process has been developed within EnRichMar, such as the extrusion of the rye snacks. Overall, the new higher value business models for the food producing SEMs Grimur Kokkur, Den Eelder and Ruislandia, based on the market knowledge created in the project, the development of the food enriched with the bioactive ingredients, will impact positively their financial performance at the end of this project.
The SMEs in EnRichMar have now obtained valuable marketing information about functional foods and consumer views on functional foods in important markets and have developed enriched food prototypes based on information collect about the main target groups of interest. Further, they have now first-hand information about physiological effects of consuming foods enriched with seaweed and omega-3/omega-6 powder. They have received training in technological solutions and processing, and know-how developed within the project. Integral to the project was the development, for each SME, of a new higher value business model for the future. The business models that were based on the assertion that the development of convenience food enriched with bioactive ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing and with confirmed bioavailability and bioactivity, will impact positively their financial performance.

Food enrichment of omega powder will offer health benefits to the consumer. By consuming the recommended amounts of an enriched food product, the consumer will be able to balance the omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids on cell level. The synergistic effects of EPA and DHA from fish and flavonoids from olives protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. The western countries share a common need for the development of functional foods enriched with omega-3 to improve the health of the populations by helping to protect against common lifestyle related health problems. Functional foods possess demonstrable physiological benefits and/or ability to reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond providing basic nutritional functions, i.e. they contain bioactive compounds that are intended to improve health. Inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases are recognized as growing global health concerns. CVDs (coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure and rheumatic heart disease) are a leading cause of death in the world.
Natural compounds derived from various plants and marine algae are sought after for supplements. Marine organisms such as Fucus vesiculosus contain highly interesting bioactive compounds as they have developed unique metabolic systems enabling them to survive under extreme conditions. There is growing evidence that such compounds can have significant benefits, which include lower risks of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Functional foods possess demonstrable physiological benefits and/or ability to reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond providing basic nutritional functions, i.e. they contain bioactive compounds that are intended to improve health. Through realizing the potential of the EnRichMar project we can promote the benefits of encouraging the consumption of enriched foods and help remedy poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles.

At the finalization of the EnRichMar project, some enriched prototypes need more work while other products are being launched. This progress in development of the different food enriched with bioactive compounds will have direct impact on production of the SMEs in the EnRichMar project and also impact on various sectors of the European food industry. The SME’s have gained invaluable research input and knowledge from the RTDs to strengthen their market position. In addition, new lucrative markets for bioactive marine based products, seaweed and fish oil as ingredients in functional foods are now opening. The competitiveness of the SME´s will increase in the growing markets of food with bioactive compounds. Increased variety of seafood products with enriched bioactive ingredients will give consumers more choices of healthy seafood products and can potentially improve their quality of life and generally increase fish consumption. Enriching seafood products, dairy and cereal based products with these ingredients has not only created innovative unique products but is also introducing the bioactive marine based ingredients to a broad range of consumers which normally might not be consumers of these ingredients. This result is of benefit for European citizens and of interest for health authorities as more consumption of healthy marine based ingredients can have a positive impact on citizen health and lead to reduced health costs. The results are also relevant to the European fishing and marine resource utilization industry in general because of the increased value of by-products and un-utilised marine based resources. The results also create new valuable market opportunities for producers of bioactive marine based products seaweed and fish oil products as ingredients in functional and convenience foods in general.

Main dissemination activities

A number of dissemination activities took place during the project period where the project objectives and results were presented.

Logo:
Logo was designed for the project and used in all dissemination presentation, within or outside the consortium.

Website:
Matís developed with contribution from all partners a project website with both public and member’s area. The public area contained information about the project and the consortium. News related to the project’s topic were uploaded regularly to the general public. The member’s only area was for the dissemination of project information, including minutes of meetings, deliverables and other related information. The website will be kept visible for at least one more year after the finalisation of the project.
Publications:
No peer reviewed scientific publications were produced during the project but six publications are in preparation. Four scientific theses or reports were produced by students who undertook research at Matis (MSc project of Friðrik Björnsson (University of Iceland); MSc project of Páll Arnar Hauksson (University of Iceland); Internship training project of Kyra Teeken (University of Maastricht)) and University of Milano (PhD project of Paola Roderi (University of Milano)).
In total 38 dissemination activities took place during the course of the project and minimum of one dissemination events are planned after the project ends.
Workshop on technological know-how dissemination of results and activities to generate value for SME participants with focus on technological know-how was held in Espoo, Finland in May 2015. It was organised and hosted by VTT in cooperation with the coordinator in relation to EnRichMar project meeting. The aim of the workshop was to provide technological know-how, including theoretical and practical aspects of the new technology. The workshop was divided in two parts; I) an open workshop covering general information on trends in food and health, health claims for functional foods and technological aspects in producing healthy foods and II) an internal workshop for EnRichMar partners only regarding more specific issues related to the work carried out within EnRichMar such as effects of adding the bioactive ingredients in different steps during production on stability of products, consumer aspects regarding enriched products and integrating consumer understanding to product development and commercialization process. In the final months of the EnRichMar project, a second workshop for EnRichMar partners was held in Milano, Italy in October 2015. The workshop was an internal EnRichMar workshop and was hosted by University of Milano, and organised by the coordinator in collaboration with other RTD partners of EnRichMar. This second workshop aimed at dissemination of results and activities to generate value for SME participants with focus on generating further SME value by guiding the SMEs on best practices towards placing products on the market. The workshop material was based on specific issues related to knowledge brought to the project and the work carried out within the project. The information given to create value for the SMEs were; detailed information about the functional ingredients and their benefits, outcome and use of the intervention results in relation to how the SMEs can utilise the results, marketing and launch of enriched products and an example of implementation of the EnRichMar results.
The workshop material from the two workshops was collected and submitted as deliverables of EnRichMar and are available to EnRichMar partners from the internal project website as well.

Exploitation activities and results
Project results:
During the project, substantial knowledge about the upscaling of seaweeds, bioavailability and bioactivity in in-vitro and in-vivo of the marine based ingredients and food formulations was gathered, in addition to marketing knowledge related to different consumer segments and functional foods. The project results will be jointly owned by the SMEs after the project.
This knowledge is summarised in the following project results:
• Upscaling of bioactive ingredient processing
• Market knowledge
• Product development of seafood dishes, dairy and cereal products with bioactive compounds
• Physiological/mental effects of enriched convenience food

Future Exploitation
Before the end of the EnRichMar project a final Plan for the Use and Dissemination of the knowledge (PUDF) was prepared. The aim of PUDF was to detail the activities that the project beneficiaries have carried out during implementation of the project and also to outline a plan for the dissemination and use of the project foreground after the project ends. The dissemination measures taken during the project are outlined and also any planned for when the project ends. Further a strategy for the management of intellectual property rights after the project ends was prepared. It detailed the exploitable foreground and provided a plan for its exploitation including a list of any measures taken or planned to protect the foreground.

The SME participants will individually continue to utilise and build upon the knowledge gained during the EnRichMar project in house. Prototypes of seaweed enriched rye snacks and prototypes of omega-3 enriched dairy products have been produced that are worthy further improvements by Ruislandia and Den Eelder. Both Marinox and BioActive foods have identified realistic possibilities of using their material for various food enrichment.

List of Websites:
The public website address of EnRichMar:

www.enrichmar.eu

Main contact information:

Scientific coordinator/RTD performer:
Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Matis ohf, Vinlandsleid 12, Reykjavik, 113, Iceland. kolbrun@matis.is

SME participants:
Linda Saga, BioActive Foods AS, Hoslegata 3, 1356 Bekkestua, Norway.
linda.saga@1life63.com
Eero Koivisto, Finnsnack/Ruislandia Oy, Vellamontie 2 as 1, Hollola, 15870, Finland
Eero.koivisto@finnsnack.fi
Grímur Gíslason, Grímur kokkur ehf, Hlídarvegi 5, Vestmannaeyjar, 900, Iceland
grimur@grimurkokkur.is
Hörður G Kristinsson, Marinox ehf, Vínlandsleid 14, Reykajvik, 113, Iceland
hordur@marinox.is
Ernst Van Der Schans, Den Eelder/Ernst Van Der Schans, Molenachterdijk 3, Well Gld, 5325 KL, Netherlands
ernstvanderschans@deneelder.nl

RTD participants:
Theo Verkleij, Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek –TNO. Schoemakerstraat 97, Delft, 2600 JA, Netherlands – RTD Performer
theo.verkleij@tno.nl
Raija-Liisa Heiniö, Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT, Teknikantie 4 A, Espoo, 02044 VTT, Finland
Raija-Liisa.Heinio@vtt.fi
Angela Maria Rizzo, Universita Degli Studi Di Milano, Via Festa Del Perdono 7, Milano, 20122, Italyangelamaria.rizzo@unimi.it

Related information

Contact

Kolbrun Sveinsdottir, (Research group leader)
Tel.: +354 8585079
Fax: +354 4225001
E-mail
Record Number: 187982 / Last updated on: 2016-08-10