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Novel bioactive seaweed based ingredients and products

  • Published 16/01/2015
  • Last updated 24/01/2012
The goal of this project is to develop technologies to process novel highly bioactive ingredients from bladderwrack and develop innovative products containing them with active collaboration of target consumers/users. The products include (a) food supplements, (b) cosmetics and (c) food antioxidants.

The project is completed. Download the final report here.

Main objectives:

Marine seaweeds are a highly underutilized resource in Scandinavia with great potential. Seaweeds are known to contain unique compounds that can find many uses in consumer products. Scandinavia is in a unique position to create significant value from its very abundant seaweed resources.


The overall objective of the project was to create new high value ingredients and products from this highly underutilized Nordic resource, marine seaweeds. Furthermore, the ultimate objective of the project was to start a commercial production of novel bioactive marine seaweed based ingredients and products containing them. Those overall objectives have been reached and a new industry has started based on the projects results. 



The bioactivity and properties of seaweed extracts have been characterized and defined. Results of the project have shown that the extracts are stable and keep their positive properties through storage for over a year both at room temperature, cold or frozen storage. Characterization techniques include HPLC and NMR analysis. Among bioactivities measured was ORAC value, a method measuring the antioxidant capacities in vitro, where the seaweed extracts showed excellent antioxidant activity compared to other better known natural compounds like rosemary extracts and tea. Furthermore, new products containing the seaweed extracts were developed and are now commercially produced.


Concrete results and conclusions:

Based on the scientific work in the project, extraction methods have been developed, activity and composition of extracts and their stability has been analysed and tested. The process techniques developed are all environmental friendly and the seaweeds are collected in a sustainable manner. This has resulted in a broad know-how in manufacturing and use of the seaweeds. Thorough investigation of the market for ingredients and products has been performed. Based on this work a marketing and sales plan has been put in action for two types of products, a line of high end marine bioactive skincare products named UNA Skincare and MarinoxTM extracts. Other types of products are in the pipeline waiting for marketing. The project has shown that there is a demand in the market for products with bioactive seaweed ingredients and market potentials are good. The project has resulted in a new industry in the Nordic and significant value creation has been reached beneficial for the biomarine industry.



The project participants recommend that research parties and companies should aim at utilizing the ample marine areas surrounding the Nordic countries in a sustainable manner. It´s important that the utilization is built on thorough research and technology of this natural resource where bioactivity is investigated. Furthermore, it is essential that the work coming out of this project will be followed up with clinical trials as well as more market and consumer based studies. Thereby a successful sustainable new industry based on sound science and technology can be started up, beneficial for both health and business of the Nordic countries.  



Project owner:

Rósa Jónsdóttir
Marinox , IS


Project leader:

Hörður G. Kristinsson
Matís, IS


Project members:

Charlotte Jacobsen
DTU Food, DK
Eddy Torp
Due Miljö, NO
Guðbrandur Sigurðsson
Nýland, IS
Gunnar Tómasson
Þorbjörn, IS
Sigbjørn Folland
Sigurd Folland, NO


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Nordic Marine Innovation Programme


See the Combined list of the projects in the programme

A main premise of the marine innovation program is to have businesses take ownership and an active role in the projects.


Enhance the innovation capability in the Nordic marine sector and thereby its profitability and competitiveness in a global market

Visualise the sector as an interesting sector with huge potential


Strengthen and establish B2B og B2R cooperation and support Nordic ”value chains” – horizontal and vertical


Create platform for multi-disciplinary/sectoral cooperation


Cooperation with Canada


Create Nordic value through more cooperation between Nordic and national innovation agencies


Emphasis on:

- Industry needs and active  
- Concrete results and activities
   close to market
- Sustainability
- Innovation knowledge