Marine raw materials contain specific ingredients, lipids and other ingredients, that easily deteriorate to components responsible for off flavor when products are developed. Peptides prepared from marine raw materials by enzymatic hydrolysis thus needs additional processing to address these issues, either prior to hydrolysis or after the hydrolysis. Peptides do further have a characteristic bitter taste on its own linked to its molecular structure. This project, a collaboration between 3 leading industrial companies on marine oils and proteins (Aker Biomarine, Vedde (Triple999), and Calanus) focused on membrane technologies as a tool to remove non-desirable components from peptides and as a tool for improvement of organoleptic qualities in general.
Membrane filtration, (pressure filtration using membranes with pore size down to retention of salts), has been used widely for production of clean water, and in the offshore industry for adjustment of ions in water from wells. Innolipid (the technology provider in this project) with competence on marine raw materials was assisted by the University of Stavanger to identify human resources and network. Scale up testing was performed by the company MT Separation.
Dialysis is a type of filtration wherein water removed in the filtration along with various components passing the membrane is replaced by pure water. The project studied in detail efficiency of dialysis on removal of salts and other non-desirable components. A part of the non-desirable materials was efficiently removed whereas other items required to long time for dialysis with too much product (peptide) loss. The focus was to quantify and minimize loss of peptides on the selected membranes selected for ability to remove the specific contaminant to desired level. A couple of the contaminants proved to be easier removed prior to hydrolysis by alternative technologies.
Since at least one contaminant contained much nitrogen, a process for quantifying peptides without relying on the traditional method of protein measurement was developed. And successfully so, and proving to be a tool for peptide work ahead.
Organoleptic issues linked to the peptide structure itself was also addressed. The challenge here was to eventually remove a part of the peptides without too much product loss.
The global market for human grade protein ingredients is significant and represents an untapped business opportunity for the Norwegian marine industry. Quality issues relating to purity, smell and taste of marine protein isolates have so far prevented these products from taking a greater market share. The current project represents an important effort by the industry partners to engage in national r&d collaboration to tackle process and quality issues relevant for the production of protein isolates from marine raw materials. Increasing the quality of marine protein isolates prior to market launch will improve public perception and trust in marine protein isolates and thereby grow that market as a whole. This will also benefit other producers of marine protein isolates and the Norwegian marine industry as a whole.
Peptidprodukter fra vegetabilske råvarer er vel etablert i markedet med svært store volumer og til gode priser, mens marine peptidprodukter så langt ikke har lykkes. Dette til tross for mye godt utviklingsarbeid og svært interessante data på kliniske effekter. Nøkkelen til suksess ligger i et kraftig løft på teknologisk prosess-kompetanse på membranfiltrering (som skal hentes fra oljeindustrien) og i anvendelse av bærekraftige råvarer med volumer som er store nok til å skape interesse i peptidmarkedet.
I dette prosjektet skal peptider fra raudåte, krill og limvann fra fiskemelsindustri renses med membranteknologi hentet fra offshoreindustrien, der slik teknologi lenge har vært brukt til å produsere såkalt "smart water". Dette er vann som er behandlet med membraner for å fjerne blant annet monovalente ioner som Natrium og Klor (salt). Tilsvarende teknologi vil i dette prosjektet bli anvendt på hydrolyserte marine råvarer for å ta bort salter og andre uønskede komponenter.