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AQUAculture and Agriculture BIOmass side stream PROteins and bioactives for Feed, FITness and health promoting nutritional supplements

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AQUABIOPROFIT (AQUAculture and Agriculture BIOmass side stream PROteins and bioactives for Feed, FITness and health promoting nutritional supplements)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31

Large amounts of fish and side streams from fisheries or aquaculture are wasted or underutilized in animal feeds in Europe. Cage farming effluents being uneaten feeds and faeces and nutrients from activities on land contribute with hundreds of thousand tons nutrient rich side stream biomasses still containing proteins, bioactive peptides, LCω-3PUFAs, organic minerals, vitamins and more, that to be collected, preserved, extracted, and used for higher value products, considerable investments and new knowledge development is needed. Reliable documentation and consumer education as well as the establishment of appropriate legislative framework are also indispensable so that developed products successfully reach and establish in the markets. The objective of AQUABIOPRO-FIT is to remove bottlenecks and fill gaps of knowledge bringing together an interdisciplinary team of experts to develop ingredients and products from lipids, proteins and other bioactive ingredients from marine biomass and thoroughly document their functionality in major target groups, such as athletes, consumers of fitness and beauty products and specific patient groups. A large supplier of fish side stream biomass, two processing SMEs of aquaculture, agriculture effluents and fish processing side stream biomasses are members of the consortium, possessing relevant products in the market. Our consortium includes highly recognised research, academic and vocational training organisations which ensure the development of quality materials, scalable technologies, standardised methods, training protocols and appropriate documentation of biological activity. Environmental engineers and economists fine-tune the project products to comply with demanding financial and environmental sustainability principles.
The project’s identity is created establishing the project logo and website ( Market opportunities and barriers, such as potential patents limiting the exploitation of the project results have been identified. Side stream materials from fisheries and aquaculture (heads, guts, backbones, skin, liver, gills and fillets from Atlantic salmon, European seabass, Gilthead seabream, blue whiting, herring and mackerel) have been analysed extensively for their content in proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, macro and trace minerals, as well as undesirable compounds. Ciona intestinalis culture was established and the production has been successful yielding biomasses for both tests and commercial applications, including studying the rheological properties of the material in the production of extruded feeds for Atlantic salmon. Co-culturing Ciona intestinalis with salmonids in RAS and macroalgae in the sea was also tested. Innovative processing methods for fish side streams and Ciona biomass for the production of meals for animal feeds and products for human consumption have been identified and described, including conventional and non-conventional technologies such as heat processing, chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis, filtration, Supercritical CO2 extraction and Pulse electric fields. Lab, pilot, and large-scale trials have been performed and prototype ingredients and products (protein hydrolysates including marine collagen and oils, healthier meat and fish cake products with marine extracts, and ciona-tunicate meal for aquafeeds, and ciona fond and cream as food supplements). The composition of the final project elixirs for the 4 planed clinical studies has been designed and the biomasses are under production and quality evaluation. The presentation of the test ingredients to the participants of the clinical tests has been decided (smoothie (athletes) and tablets/capsules form (skin and hair, anxiety, and pH balance trials)). Questionnaires for the selection of the volunteers and the monitoring of their condition during the clinical trials have been composed and the trial protocols determined. The technical evaluation of the AQUABIOPRO-FIT concepts includes modelling and simulation of the selected technologies creating equipment user models that will allow us to calculate the main outputs for the mass and energy balances in downstream processing major fish side stream and Ciona biomasses and provide relevant information for a future scale-up. The economic and environmental validation and assessment of the project technologies is being evaluated by Life cycle cost analysis life cycle assessment, respectively. The project’s communication and dissemination plan is put in action, including presentation of the project and project results in events and conferences, publication of 3 project newsletters, 18 peer review articles, including 1 PhD thesis and several press releases and articles in popular magazines, and active presence in social media. The Project showcase of is built as a versatile e-tool presenting project achievements.
The most significant scientific and technological achievements of AQUABIOPRO-FIT are: Extensive characterisation and publication documentation for the nutritional quality and unique bioactivity of a long list of fish side stream ingredients that can be exploited as nutritional supplements; Development and verification up to industrial scale innovative processes for the refinement of marine hydrolysates including collagen, and have characterised and improved their organoleptic characteristics; Establishment of commercial Ciona intestinalis cultivation and production, for first time globally, a Ciona fond and cream for human consumption and meals in pilot-large scale for use in fish feeds; Creation of unique healthier meat product prototypes with biobased marine extracts; and Production of unique training modules for the developed processes and documentation studies.
The potential impacts of our project results include: Creation of new sustainable products and value chains based on marine side stream biomass; Establishing technologies and documentation for the production of more and highly nutritious food to prevent food waste, human health, and promote circular economy and reduce EU countries’ dependency on imports in food and feed; Creation of incentives and knowledge-based foundations for the establishment of new businesses in coastal European regions; Creation of educational training courses to increase capacities among workers and support the development of a knowledge based circular economy society where men and women can have equal opportunities and decent income; Contribution in reducing the pressure from human food production activities on the biodiversity on land and in the water.
Salmon by products/ heads and backbones
Herring by products/heads
Mackrell skin