Nofima’s research is focused on increasing the value of marine raw materials. Our scientists have extensive experience within the field of bioprospecting, bioprosessing and scale up of processes in order to exploit and preserve value in raw materials from the ocean.
- Assistance in translating laboratory research to products produced on an industrial scale
- Processing of marine biomass into high value products
- Identification of bioactive compounds in marine biomass
- Applied research adapted to each company’s need
Components of fish and shellfish not used for human consumption are termed by-products or rest raw material and can be used to produce a variety of new products. Fisheries by-products represent a significant source of income for the fisheries industry. A large part of the by-products are already being used, but there is still a potential for increased value creation. The potential is particularly evident within the whitefish industry where 44% of the by-products are not being used. In addition, unexploited biomass exists in aquaculture, pelagic fish and shellfish, either as waste or as biomass used for low value products.
Nofima’s research within Marine Biotechnology aims at increasing the value of marine by-products and keeping within the mindset of a sustainable bio-economy. Our research has shown that there is a great potential for improved exploitation and value creating from marine biomass.
Our research has resulted in a variety of commercial application and start-ups. We have for example extracted fish attractants from marine by-products that are used as bait for fishing. This is commercialized through Polybait. In addition, we have developed blood pressured lowering peptides used in a nutraceutical product developed by Marealis. We work with private companies, universities and colleges both nationally and internationally.
Bioprossesing involves the use of biological components, for example enzymes, to treat marine biomass in such a way that desired products can be extracted. We focus on products with higher value that ensilage or other low price products. Extracted and purified products are proteins, oils, peptides, antioxidants or other components. We process mainly marine biomass; fish, shellfish or algae. In collaboration with colleagues in other groups in Nofima we can also process plant and animal based biomass.
Nofima owns and runs the National facility for marine bioprocessing (NAMAB) in Kaldfjord outside Tromsø. The Plant is a mini-factory where companies can receive help translating their lab scale research into advanced products at a small industrial scale. NAMAB can also help companies access a larger marked through scale-up of processes.
Marine bioprospecting – biodiscovery
Nofimas scientists work on the discovery of bioactive compounds with a commercial potential. We work with extracts and purified components from marine sources for use in health and medicine, as well as food, food ingredients, feed (fish and pet) and cosmetic.
As an example, shrimp shells is a well exploited by-product from shrimp peeling. In addition to Marealis blood pressure lowering peptides, we have also produced chitin and chitosan from shrimp shells. The latter is used in cosmetics, contact lenses and biodegradable packaging.
Through the national marine biobank (Marbank) we can access a variety of marine biomass for research and development of commercial products. Our research facilities are equipped with all necessary state of the art scientific equipment.
Nofima is currently enganged in industry initiated applied research in collaboration with both Marealis and Barentzymes, which are biotech companies located in Tromsø. We also work with number of companies in the region to address the challenges faced with preserving, transporting and processing rest raw materials from the industry.