Fish side raw materials including viscera, carcass, head, skin, and bones which have been traditionally considered low value raw materials and account for 50% to 70% of the total fresh weight depending on species. It is estimated that a total of 3.17 million tons of solid fish raw materials are generated per year in the European Union. Around 50% of this biomass is discarded, while only 30% is utilised for low added-value activities such as animal feed, fertiliser agents and silage production.
However, these traditionally low value raw materials constitute a significant source of protein and other components, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, soluble vitamins, and bioactive compounds with many potential applications through product development in the fish and food industry. Some of the potential industrial applications of fish side raw materials encompass the production of fish oils, protein ingredients, collagen, and fish leather.
With growing population, finding new sources for premium natural protein sources grows more important. It is essential for our health that we maintain a regular protein intake within the recommended levels and the many health benefits of protein intake among all age ranges and health conditions are backed by a large body of research. Consumers are therefore increasingly demanding food products and nutritional supplements with high protein content, to either prevent protein deficiency for various reasons, or simply to increase their daily protein intake.
The outcome of the project is an up-scaled novel protein process and proteins will be developed into final products. The development will be guided by surveying consumer trust, acceptance and preferences.