Drying of harvested Saccharina Latissima

Blog post by Annelise Chapman

Photo: Annelise Chapman & Erlend Indergård

 

This year’s harvest of sugar kelp – Saccharina latissima – has started at the SINTEF cultivation site on Hitra. The biomass is going to be used in a number of PROMAC experiments, including the drying tests. Here, we assess the effects of drying at several temperatures and to varying remaining moisture contents.

Saccharina

Researchers from SINTEF and Møreforsking are executing the experiments, while various other partners will be involved in the analyses (components, sensory analysis and feeding).

The second batch of spring sugar kelp biomass harvested on Hitra, and stored in seawater for a few days. Erlend  seems pleased. The plants are not large, but in fine shape and without any visible fouling.

 

Erlend_og_tare

 

Marte removes the stilk before the kelp sheets are spread out for drying.

Marte_tørking

Per Egil explains the tricks with spreading the kelps carefully….

Per Egil_tørking

… and Erlend does the quality control

Erlend_tørking

 

All hands on deck – spreading the sugar kelps on the drying trays. Doing this carefully will improve the result.

tørking_alle

Also the project manager gets a chance to work with ‘the real thing’

Annelise_tørking

The new ‘Mercedes’ dryer from Germany – it needs some talking to before it’s working properly….but then it’s effective! The 40 degree batch seems almost ready, but where the sheets are in several layers, they need some more time to be completely dry (defined here as 10% remaining moisture).

samlet

 

The final product – top quality and delicious!

tørket produkt

PROMAC – a study case for high school students

Blog post by Annelise Chapman

 

Communicating research and project results beyond an academic community is important for scientists in PROMAC.

“The project is highly relevant for the development of new seaweed-related economies in Norway, and we owe the public who is funding us to know what our research is all about”, says project manager Annelise Chapman in Møreforsking.

“Especially young people will be important in carrying new discoveries towards technical innovation in the future. Therefore it is important to involve children and students and communicate well with them right from the start”.

Students from Spjelkavik High School in Ålesund have studied the PROMAC project during their course on ‘Research and Technology’. PROMAC as a prime example of a large international research project is helping them to understand how research in Norway works in practice – from getting the funding to implementing the results towards innovation. The fact that PROMAC connects interesting marine organisms – seaweeds – with exciting marine biotechnology in the student’s ’immediate neighbourhood is a big plus.

In addition to studying the project in the classroom, the students joined PROMAC researchers Annelise Chapman and Pierrick Stevant in the field and lab, where they were introduced to kelps and other seaweeds in both fresh and dry condition.

290416 Tueneset

Students from Spjelkavik High School get to know the main seaweed species in the field at Tueneset and are introduced to the lab experiments of Møreforsking at Atlanterhavsparken, Ålesund, 29.04.2016

 

The rainy weather did not compromise the student’s enthusiasm and curiosity! A second highlight awaited the group with a visit at Taford Kraftvarme’s waste incinerator. The company is a PROMAC partner because the excess heat produced during the summer months may be highly relevant for drying seaweeds at commercial scales.

“I had no idea that a waste burner could be so technically advanced!, was one of the comments from the amazed group.

In conclusion of their project, the students will now carry out interviews with some of the PROMAC scientists to be used in the project’s communication.

In other words: A win-win for all!!

290416 Tafjord

A guided tour of Tafjord Kraftvarme’s waste incinerator is always an exciting new experience. Knut Arve Tafjord explains the company’s strategy, societal responsibilities and why they are engaged in the PROMAC project.