The project aim is successful commercial production of novel bioactive ingredients, from marine seaweeds to be used in food supplements, cosmetics and food products. The key to this goal is verification of bioactivity via in-vivo testing (human studies), resulting in significant value creation based on sustainable production and use of underutilised marine based biomass.
Marine seaweed is a highly under-utilised Nordic resource. The objectives of the project are to use these resources in a sustainable way and create new high value ingredients and products with verified health benefits.
In a previous Nordic Innovation funded project, the company Marinox developed new methods to produce seaweed extracts with high anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and antidiabetic activity according to in-vitro studies. This has created opportunities for a variety of applications in the food and cosmetic industry. For commercialisation of the seaweed extracts, the bioactivity needs to be verified with human clinical trials.
Studying effects of consumption and cosmetics
The focus in the three-year Nordic Innovation funded project Seaweed bioactive ingredients with verified in-vivo bioactivities is to study the effects of consumption with regard to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and to study effects of cosmetics on human skin with regard to e.g. increased collagen production, inhibition of metalloproteases (MMPs) and elasticity. Further, effects of various process parameters and processing steps on stability of the bioactivity of the seaweed extract are being studied.
At later stages in the project, consumer and market analysis on the novel use of bioactive seaweed extracts in foods and cosmetics will be performed to provide information for marketing.
Focusing on seaweed extract
The main emphasis of the first project year was production of seaweed extract for use in other tasks within the project and conduct trials to fine-tune encapsulation of the extract, parallel to safety and bioactivity measurements and development of foods containing seaweed extracts.
Preparation work for the human interventions of consuming encapsulated seaweed extract and using skin cream containing the seaweed extract is in final stages.