Seaweed is underutilised Nordic resource from Atlantic Ocean. It contains several bioactive compounds to be used in various industrial applications. Seaweed is for example a good source of iodine which is an essential trace element. Iodine deficiency is a problem in certain areas of Europe. Recently started Seaweed Bioactive Ingredients is a Nordic Marine Innovation 2.0 project (Mar 14311 - Seaweed bioactive ingredients with verified in-vivo bioactivities, duration March 2015 – February 2018). The aim is a successful commercial production of novel bioactive ingredients from marine seaweeds to be used in food supplements, cosmetics and food products. For commercialization of the seaweed extracts the bioactivity needs to be verified in in vivo studies (human studies), resulting in value creation based on sustainable production and use of marine-based biomass. Novel high-value ingredients and products with verified health benefits will be created in the project. Consumer and market analysis on the use of bioactive seaweed extracts in foods and cosmetics will be performed to provide information for marketing the products.
VTT (Finland) and Matis (Iceland) are collaborating already in the third project on the seaweed topic. The previous project is the ongoing EU-funded project (www.enrichmar.eu) where development of foods with seaweed extracts has been initiated. In the present study the effects of various process parameters and processing steps on stability of bioactivity will be studied more detailed. Two Finnish SMEs are involved: Pharmia Oy (producing food supplements) and Ruislandia Oy (producing rye snacks), and two Icelandic SMEs: Marinox (producing seaweed) and UNA skincare (producing cosmetics). Other project partners conducting the in-vivo studies are Högskolan i Kristianstad (Sweden) and Landspitali University Hospital (Iceland).
For more information: