European research project
Convenience Food Enriched with Marine based Raw Materials
Participants: Matis, Iceland, VTT, Finland, TNO, The Netherlands, University of Milan, Italy, Grimur Kokkur, Iceland, Marinox, Iceland, Ruislandia, Finland, DenEelder, The Netherlands and BioActive Foods, Norway
Project funded by the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme
Recent process improvements have created new possibilities for the use of marine based ingredients in functional foods. Consumers tend to favour functional foods over dietary supplements as means to prevent lifestyle related health issues. The market for these types of products is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. By adding marine-based bioactive ingredients from low value by-products and underutilised raw material to healthy foods, they obtain added value, both economical and due to a more sustainable use of resources.
Few natural food antioxidants are commercially available on the market. Due to strong market demand and very positive preliminary tests it is believed that seaweed food antioxidant extracts can be highly competitive on the market and find various uses in food.
A unique tasteless omega-3 powder ingredient is new on the market with the ability to both regulate and maintain the body’s Omega-6/Omega-3 fatty acid balance, while simultaneously safeguarding the daily need for marine omega-3 (EPA and DHA) from fish and protective biological antioxidants from olives (polyphenols).
The project aim to increase the value of convenience food by enriching seafood, cereal and dairy products with bioactive compounds; powder containg fish oil (and olive oil) and seaweed extracts with confirmed bioavailability. The functional properties of the enriched products will be studied via dietary intervention to verify the physiological health effects.
The consortium consists of SME’s 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 the RTDs. New markets for bioactive marine based products, seaweed and fish oil as ingredients in functional (sea) foods, cereal and dairy may increase the competitiveness of the SME´s. Verification of physiological health effect of consumption of enriched food is of high importance to the ingredients and the food producers as well as European consumers.