Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is an abundant marine resource that can help meet the world’s growing food demand, providing feed (for aquaculture and monogastric livestock) and dietary supplements for humans. Although protein-rich krill contains Omega 3/EPA/DHA and antioxidant astaxanthin, it is under utilized because F and Cu concentrations exceed EU limits for feed, enzymes rapidly taint the meat, and most of krill’s water content (85% of total wet weight) is lost in processing. To overcome these problems, a consortium – Krill Seaproducts AS (a SME), Alfa Laval, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences – aims to develop new food and feed ingredients, from fresh krill, using innovative technology at sea. The research objective is to develop energy-efficient processes that concentrate the water soluble fraction (low in F and Cu) and assure a stable shelf-life (> 6 months). The end product(s) will serve as healthful ingredients, rich in protein and unsaturated fats, with distinct aromatic flavour (resembling that of gourmet shellfish), nutrients that enhance the colour and taste of farmed fish, and a high capacity for emulsification – all of which are attractive to food and feed industries. Achieving this end, PROKrill envisages a three-phase program based on scale of development: (i) initial research will take place in Europe, with small-scale model experiments focusing on F and Cu removal, optimal filtration, centrifugation and evaporation, and the effects of proteases; (ii) results from the models will be applied and evaluated at intermediate scale in Antarctic waters, onboard the SME’s vessel Thorshøvdir; (iii) large-scale industrial implementation at sea, followed by dissemination of knowledge via publishing, workshops, symposia, and product marketing. Findings will be used in expanding MSc and PhD courses. Sixteen researchers will be seconded and a post doc will be recruited.
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Funding SchemeMC-IAPP - Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)