Skip to main content

Biotechnological Approaches to the Total Utilisation of Crustacean Shellfish and Shellfish waste


Worldwide, the fishing of crustacean shellfish provides a major contribution to the food supply and diet of,many millions of People. Because of their size and greater abundance, the smaller forms ie. krill and shrimps, represent the most significant. Much of the catch is Processed to provide meat which comes from the ''tail''or abdominal part of the animals. Although the processing is highly developed in some parts of the world, there still remains a problem of the large amount of waste irrespective of the technology used. Mechanical removal of shells also consumes large quantities of water in which some of the constituent molecules of the animals are solubilised. The waste takes the form of the ''head'' or cephalothorax region of the body and the shell from the abdominal region. Although some of this is reduced to low grade animal feed, both these wastes represent a largely untapped reservoir of other useful, and in some cases high value products. At present much of this waste is discarded and is highly polluting. The proposed research aims to develop processes for the total utilization of the crustaceans. It has four specific objectives concerned with the processing of the prime resource of the shell fish ie the meat, and the utilization of the excessive waste that results from current processing practices. It is proposed therefore to (1) explore new and more efficient approaches to the processing of krill and shrimp for improved recovery of meat; (2) to explore the processing of the meat to develop new products; (3) to investigate the recovery of added value products from ''head'' waste and washwaters, eg. extracts for use as food additives, enzymes for healthcare, proteins having a functional use in food processing, carotenoid pigments as food colorants, and fatty acids with dietary value; (4) to investigate the use of shell waste as a source of chitin and chitin derivatives, and food colorants, and as a substrate for solid state fermentation for the production of microbial metabolites and animal feed.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Nottingham
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

S/n,ciudad Universitaria S/n
28040 Madrid
Pesquera Francis Drake SA
Km 104,Ruta 68
56 Valparaiso
Queen's University of Belfast
United Kingdom
Stranmillis Road
BT9 5AH Belfast
Suranaree University of Technology
111,University Avenue
30000 Nakhon Ratchasima
Universidad de Chile
3363,Av. Bernardo O'higgins
6500 Santiago De Chile
University of the Philippines at Los Banos

4031 Los Banos