PROMAC: Energy efficient PROcessing of MACroalgae in blue-green value chains
Ongoing global human population growth and continuing rise in the standard of living demand increasing access to food and feed resources. The world’s oceans have the largest unlocked potential for meeting such demands. The cultivation of seaweeds (large marine algae) represents an important strategy for climate positive exploitation and sustainable utilisation of biological resources and, accordingly, associated bio-based industries are developing fast in Norway.
PROMAC will investigate seaweeds as novel raw materials for human food and domestic animal feed applications. Three different species of seaweed, all with significant potential for commercial cultivation in Norway as well as distinct raw material qualities, will be evaluated as alternative sources of proteins and energy in animal feed, and for their health benefits as human food. The project will (i) assess variation of raw material composition and quality from both harvested and cultured seaweed biomass in relation to environmental and biological factors, (ii) develop primary processes (washing / dehydration, maturation) which will enhance desired raw material properties, (iii) establish fractionation and extraction methods best suited to enrich beneficial proteins or remove undesirable anti-nutrients and (iv) evaluate nutritional and health values of processed macroalgal ingredients for various animal groups and in relation to their distinct digestive systems. PROMAC also addresses the high energy requirements associated with processing (especially drying, but also secondary processing) of macroalgae as an aquatic raw material. We use the case study of a waste incinerator located on the coast as a model for utilising excess energy from industrial plants in marine bio-based value chains. PROMAC will evaluate benefits and costs of macroalgal products along such value chains (from raw material to market and consumer) through product-based Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and business model evaluations).
- PROMAC is funded with by the Research Council of Norway, through the BIONÆR (Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries) programme.
- 35 mill. NOK funding
- Duration: 2015 – 2018
- Project Owner: Møreforsking
- Project Leader: Dr. Céline Rebours