Author(s): Rasmussen RS, Morrissey MT
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Abstract The marine world represents a largely untapped reservoir of bioactive ingredients that can be applied to numerous aspects of food processing, storage, and fortification. Due to the wide range of environments they survive in, marine organisms have developed unique properties and bioactive compounds that, in some cases, are unparalleled by their terrestrial counterparts. Enzymes extracted from fish and marine microorganisms can provide numerous advantages over traditional enzymes used in food processing due to their ability to function at extremes of temperature and pH. Fish proteins such as collagens and their gelatin derivatives operate at relatively low temperatures and can be used in heat-sensitive processes such as gelling and clarifying. Polysaccharides derived from algae, including algins, carrageenans, and agar, are widely used for their ability to form gels and act as thickeners and stabilizers in a variety of foods. Besides applications in food processing, a number of marine-derived compounds, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and photosynthetic pigments, are important to the nutraceutical industry. These bioactive ingredients provide a myriad of health benefits, including reduction of coronary heart disease, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory activity. Despite the vast possibilities for the use of marine organisms in the food industry, tools of biotechnology are required for successful cultivation and isolation of these unique bioactive compounds. In this chapter, recent developments and upcoming areas of research that utilize advances in biotechnology in the production of food ingredients from marine sources are introduced and discussed.
This article was published in Adv Food Nutr Res
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry