Harvesting of Palmaria Palmata

Blog post by Pierrick Stévant

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This year, the red alga “dulse” (Palmaria palmata) is in focus in WP2, which studies the effects of primary processes and stabilization methods on the quality of the seaweed biomass. Unlike the winged kelp (Alaria esculenta) and the sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) which have been studied earlier in the project and that are cultivated, we had to get our dulse out in the wild. Pierrick Stévant, who is PhD student at Møreforsking Ålesund and a keen hobby snorkeler, found out that the easiest way to collect the needed biomass was underwater. This gave him the opportunity to take a fresh dip during working hours at Hessa, on the outer edge of Ålesund (you can see the tip of his fin on the picture). Together with Céline Rebours (project leader) and Annelise Chapman (earlier project leader, now leader of Tango Seaweed AS), they pulled out, then sorted 10 kg of biomass.

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Pierrick Stévant tasting the delicious dulse  

 

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Project manager Céline Rebours

 

 

The biomass was sent further to SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim, where the seaweed was dried following different treatments: air-dried at 40°C and 70°C, and freeze dried. The samples were sent back to Møreforsking Ålesund and the University in Nantes for analysis of the chemical content.

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Palmaria Palmata

PROMAC Open Seminar

The 2nd PROMAC OPEN DAY was held at NTNU Ålesund the 25th of April 2017. 50 participants from industry, research and education was gathered to get the newest updates and results from the project. A varied program, with results from all the work packages was presented to an intrigued audience.

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After a welcome from project leader, Dr Celine Rebours, Dr Michael Roleda of NIBIO presented some of the results from Work package (WP) 1 on raw material characterisation. Chemical composition of the biomass shows differences between species but also between cultivated and wild harvested seaweed of the same species. This is probably due to seasonality and spatial differences together with differences in age and emersion in water.

Project leader Céline Rebours introducing the PROMAC project

Håvard Steinshamn from NIBIO introducing the audience to the plan for upcoming feeding trials in WP 4

From WP 5 Tom Ståle Nordtvedt at SINTEF Ocean presented some new results from their work and concluded that surplus heat from the industry can be used to produce stable seaweed products, with suitable dewatering and drying equipment.

Before vice principal and leader of WP 6 Annik Magerholm Fet finalized PROMAC Open Day with preliminary results from the work done on logistics, economics and LCA in the project, Wenche Uksnøy, Project Leader in the marine cluster Blue Legasea, presented their work.

 

The presentations from the Open seminar can be found here: Presentations Open Seminar 25th of April

Seaweed aquaculture in Norway: recent industrial developments and future perspectives

Some of our PROMAC colleagues have a published an interested paper about the Norwegian seaweed aquaculture industry. It is available in Open Access, just follow the link. Enjoy!

 

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Logistics and LCA for Dummies

Blog post by Kristine Steinhovden

What is the definition of a Dummy? According to Merriam-Webster and Johan Oppen from Møreforsking, a dummy is either a stupid person, a real-sized and -shaped doll, or a copy of a finished object used for practice or training. No conclusions were made from this workshop on the subject, but after a day of interesting lectures and discussions on logistics and LCA in general and LCA from PROMAC, none of the terms seemed to fit the participants.

Johan Oppen started the seminar with a thorough introduction of logistics and the basic principles. Jon Halfdanarson at NTNU followed with the same for LCA, before Matthias Koesling from NIBIO talked about LCA in PROMAC.

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Logistics can be defined as something that has to do with flow of tangible goods or information. In PROMAC we are working on descriptions of what the logistic chain may look like. What is the realistic alternatives for every step of the chain from cultivation to the finished product in terms of cost, quantities and distances (etc.). Still there are questions to be answered, but the models can be developed from a given starting point.

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LCA is short term for Life Cycle Analysis and is the most comprehensive environmental impact assessment method available today. LCA describes the total environmental impact of a product or service and are used for improvement, comparison or advertisement and also producer responsibility. For PROMAC LCA is important to show the environmental impact of proteins from macroalgae in comparison to other protein sources. Positive and negative effects are taken into account, for all steps in the value chain (hatchery, sea farms, harvesting, stabilizing, preservation and processing).

Taste of PROMAC – Sensory workshop in Ålesund 19. – 21.October

Blog post by Annelise Chapman

 

Seaweed samples processed in PROMAC and assessed during a sensory analysis in Ålesund. Photo: Pierrick Stévant.

 

 

«Wow – that’s salty!». «Yes, but there is also a hint of hay». “I can detect some cured cheese, it’s almost pungent!”, “I am reminded of a fresh sea breeze!” – These were some of the associations and comments that the Møreforsking taste panel dealt with during a workshop on sensory evaluation of seaweeds from the PROMAC project.

For 3 days, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, – Heida – from Matis in Iceland, took the project group who was joined by some other project partners and associates, through a series of lectures and training sessions, preparing the panel for a sensory assessment of sugar kelp which had been processed in WP 2. What appeared almost indistinguishable presented as flakes in a small dish, were kelp samples that had been harvested on Frøya in May, dried at different temperatures at SINTEF and subsequently matured or not at Møreforsking in Ålesund.

Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, – Heida – from Matis in Iceland was conducting the PROMAC workshop. Photo: Pierrick Stévant

 

“It was exciting to see how maturation of the seaweeds made such a difference to the smell and taste, whereas the drying temperature did not seem to change the products”, was one of the comments from the panel which, in the past, has mainly worked with fish products. “Yes, and now we want to see if this matches the chemical composition”, adds Pierrick Stévant’, PhD student at Møreforsking, who is working with seaweeds as human food in PROMAC. “Assessing the changes in quality with various processing methods will have important implications for what they can be used for in the future”, he says. Clearly seaweeds have high potential as flavour ingredients, but they will need getting used to. “The sheer intensity of salt flavour makes my tongue hurt after numerous trials over several days”, confirms Wenche Emblem Larsson, who coordinated the workshop at Møreforsking as she is the group’s sensory expert. She is pleased with the group’s performance in evaluating a novel type of product, and Heida confirms that the team has done well: “We have an experienced tasting panel at Matis, and I can tell you that seaweeds are not easy to handle in this context. You did a good job!”

 

 

It takes serious concentration and focus to be able to detect distinctions in samples of seaweeds – they include many tastes quite unusual to our culture. Photo: Pierrick Stévant

Discussion of results. Photo: Lise Chapman

 

 

 

Although saturated with salt and sea shore odours for a few days, everyone agrees that this was an enjoyable experience. Even more importantly, highly relevant competence was transferred across national boundaries and will strengthen both the project and the specific expertise at Møreforsking into the future.

The panel enjoys a well-deserved break from a very salty experience in tasting seaweeds – coffee and chocolate is an extra treat! Photo: Pierrick Stévant

Greeting from our project partner Matis

Blog post by Rósa Jónsdóttir

For the past year a number of Palmaria palmata extracts have been produced and analyzed at Matís Iceland. Different extraction methods have been tested with the aim to increase the protein yield as much as possible. The aim was to produce both fractions rich in protein and sugars, separately. This is a part of WP3 -Refined products – processes and applications. Precipitation, microfiltration, and enzyme digestion with different types of enzymes was performed in hope to get the best results. Both commercial enzymes as well as enzymes produced at Matís were used.

During our experiments we have seen extracts with different colors and textures but the results we got were not all satisfactory. Finally, with a bit of patience and some improvements we managed to get the results we hoped for and the next step will be to analyze the samples considering their bioactivity.

Through great teamwork and collaboration, we managed to produce Palmaria extract with desired results. The past year spent on the project has been very educating and rewarding.

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Samples before sieving

Samples before sieving

Filtration with 10 kDa – the color did not pass the filter

Filtration with 10kDa – the color did not pass the filter

Filtered samples after freeze-drying

Málfríður, a master student from Iceland, weighing the liquid before freeze-drying

Málfríður, a master student from Iceland, weighing the liquid before freeze-drying

Anna, a master student from Sweden, weighing the extract after freeze-drying

Anna, a master student from Sweden, weighing the extract after freeze-drying

 

 

Final harvest of kelp in Trøndelag

Blog post by Jorunn Skjermo, SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture

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On a sunny 28.June a team from SINTEF went out to do the last growth registrations and harvest biomass of Saccharina and Alaria. The Saccharina season has been good and similar to last year with up to 8 kg/m cultivation rope, whereas for Alaria the growth was disappointing with only 1,5 kg/m – only half of last year.

 

We have now a large number of samples for analysis of protein and amino acids at SINTEF, iodide at NIBIO, polyphenols at CEVA and arsenic and heavy metals at MATIS. Not at least, we brought 450 kg Saccharina biomass back to town for processing into feed proteins for the feeding trials that NMBU will be responsible for.

 

Greetings from our PhD-student Pierrick

Blog post by Pierrick Stévant

 

As part of WP2’s research plan, Pierrick Stévant (Møreforsking) travelled (home) to CEVA in Brittany for the second consecutive year to conduct practical experiments in collaboration with Hélène Marfaing. These experiments are focusing on (i) seaweed storage post-harvest and (ii) removal of undesirable compounds.

During these two weeks of (intense) work Pierrick and Hélène tested both cold storage and seawater storage of dulse (P. palmata), ensiling of sugar kelp (S. latissima) and cadmium desorption of winged kelp (A. esculenta) in salt water baths. The biomass used in these experiments were either hand-harvested from shore near the CEVA (P. palmata) or cultivated (A. esculenta, S. latissima).

Many samples were taken throughout the different treatments which will be analyzed for their biochemical content, involving other PROMAC partners.

 

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Pierrick setting up the “photo box” which will be used for color analysis of the samples

 

 

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Hélène sampling P-palmata from seawater short-term storage and packing samples prior to freeze-drying

 

 

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Starting bath treatment of A. esculenta at different salt concentrations

 

 

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Yves and Pierrick are cutting and feeling the S. latissima biomass prior to ensiling trials

Workshop – Seaweed for dummies

Blog post by Annelise Chapman

 

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Seaweed sex, chemical defense mechanisms of the sugar kelp and how seaweeds may be integrated in sustainable value chains, were among the many subjects discussed during a PROMAC workshop entitled ‘Seaweeds for Dummies’ which took place on May 25 at Møreforsking Ålesund.

Following an initiative from PROMAC partners who are experts in economics and logistics, but know little about seaweeds as organisms and their potential uses, Møreforsking Ålesund researchers Annelise Chapman and Pierrick Stévant hosted the workshop, which was also attended by some of our industry partners.

“A useful, interesting and constructive day“, was the general verdict, and the event may be a model for a similar workshop with focus on value chains and logistics in the fall – or: ‘Dummy no more’!

 

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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.

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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.

 

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

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

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… and Erlend does the quality control

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

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

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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).

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The final product – top quality and delicious!

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