In the recent times, marine life has been exploited a lot to find new sustainable products, and food being critical, Flinders University scientists have found sustainable ways to use bio waste, seaweed and algal biomass and convert them into dietary proteins and other food products
In Flinders Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, one of the projects is looking into extracting value from crayfish shells and other marine waste using a green fluidic processing machine, developed in the University. Professor Kirsten Heimann explains that millions of tonnes of sea catches ( the portion of a commercial fishing catch that consists of marine animals caught unintentionally) produces shells, bones,heads and other parts are wasted during the processing of marine and freshwater species, and these can be used to produce dietary protein sources, and this is much needed as the world population grows, so will demand for dietary proteins and protein-derived products and the traditional protein sources cannot meet these requirements.
There research states that Seafood processing by-products (SPBs) and microalgae are promising resources that can fill the demand gap for proteins and protein derivatives, Trung Nguyen , the co-author of the paper quotes “These bio materials are a rich source of proteins with high nutritional quality while protein hydrolysates and bio peptides derived from these marine proteins possess several useful biological activities for commercial applications in multiple industries. Efficient utilization of these marine bio materials for protein recovery would not only supplement global demand and save natural bio resources but would also successfully address the financial and environmental burdens of bio waste, paving the way for greener production and a circular economy."
Value of these biologically active protein-derived products looks promising to promote health also in other fields like drug discovery, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical developments. Commercial value of these therapeutic protein-based products in 2015 was US$174.7 billion and is predicted to reach US$266.6 billion in 2021, leading to a two-fold increase in demand of protein-derived products.
Globally, 32 million tonnes of SPBs can be produced which represents an inexpensive resource for protein recovery while technical advantages in microalgal biomass production would yield secure protein supplies with minimal competition for arable land and freshwater resources.
The algal proteins are already used in various ways like in chewing gum, soft drinks, dairy
products and the green-coloured hot paste served in sushi bars. The time will come where u
can see marine based plant proteins in high demand in our future markets.