The overall goal is successful product development of enriched seafood dishes with bioactive compounds from the ocean, such as seaweed, fish proteins and fish oil and to increase the variety of seafood products with functional properties available to Consumers.
The objective was to increase the value of ocean-based raw materials, reach new seafood consumer groups and increase market share of the companies involved as a step forward for production of enriched seafood dishes for targeted consumer groups. The overall goal was successful product development of enriched seafood dishes with bioactive compounds such as seaweed, fish proteins and fish oil and an increase in variety of seafood products with functional properties for targeted consumers.
Seafood dishes enriched with bioactive compounds from the ocean, such as seaweed and fish oil were successfully developed using results from consumer concept testing in both Iceland and Finland. A marketing strategy for the enriched seafood dishes was developed for the seafood processors aimed for successful marketing of the innovative product. The effect and bioavailability of the omega fatty acids in consuming enriched seafood dishes for use to calculate individual protection of persons against lifestyle diseases was verified.
This innovative seafood product development was based on collaboration between fish processing companies, ingredient companies and food research institutes with emphasis on consumer oriented product development, consumer testing and marketing. An intervention study was performed were fatty acid profiles of the blood of a certain group of consumers using enriched seafood dishes for a period of time were measured. This was done via intervention study in collaboration with the Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali University Hospital and Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Iceland.
Concrete results and conclusions:
The Icelandic company has now developed various prototypes of enriched seafood and vegetable dishes nearly ready to the market. The plan now is a new healthy product line with various products in the Icelandic market and the company is now in their first real steps to exporting their products. Main interest for the Finnish company was in relation to consumer understanding as an important tool for further marketing activities. It was of very high importance for the ingredient and the seafood producers to verify the effect and bioavailability of the omega fatty acids in consuming enriched dishes. The positive outcome in concept tests for the relatively unknown food ingredient seaweed extract showed various possibilities for future product development of enriched convenience seafood products. The omega-3 could be an interesting option for lean fish species, and the fish protein for products aimed at more specific consumer groups, such as groups more interested in functional foods. The seaweed powder producer succeeded in developing his product ready for enrichment of food and is in the phase of stabilising the production.
Enrichment of convenience seafood products with marine based ingredients is a realistic option for the seafood producers, but it is very important to consider labelling and information provided to the consumers. There is a tremendous potential for better utilization of marine raw materials and conversion of these materials to high value ingredients in a production of high value enriched seafood dishes. More variety of consumer seafood with health effect will be beneficial for consumers. This Nordic collaboration have now led to European possibilities (www.enrichmar.eu) both regarding further funding for research, innovation and marketing in this field including more food categories. The competitiveness of the SME´s will increase for the growing markets of food with bioactive compounds. The verification of physiological health effect of consumption of enriched food is of high importance to the food ingredients and the food producing companies. The option for consumers to choose enriched food instead of food supplements will be of benefit and appeal to certain consumer groups. There is great interest for diet for elderly people in Europe in the near future and the concept of this project is highly interesting for further work in that area.
Grímur Kokkur ehf. Seafood producer, IS
Matis ltd. Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D Company , IS
Hätälä Oy, Seafood producer, FI
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, FI
Itogha Food AS. Ingredients producer, NO
Marinox Ingredients producer, IS