EnRichMar: Increased value of convenience foods by enrichment with marine based raw materials
EnRichMar was a EU FP7 SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) project with the main objective to increase the value of convenience food by adding functional ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing, with confirmed bioavailability. The focus was placed on the ingredients omega-3 oil and powder and seaweed extracts which may enhance positive health effects and stability and enhance flavour to meet market demand.
The project created new business opportunities within and outside the EnRichMar consortium. The functional ingredient SMEs were steps closer and entering in lucrative new markets for the bioactive ingredients in different food systems and extend their previous product range of bioactive products due to foreseen launch of enriched convenience foods developed within EnRichMar.
The SMEs obtained valuable marketing information about functional foods and consumer views on functional foods in important markets and have developed enriched food prototypes based on information collect about the main target groups of interest. Further, they have now first-hand information about physiological effects of consuming the enriched foods.
Integral to the project was the development, for each SME, of a new higher value business model for the future, that will impact positively their financial performance.
The increased value of the raw materials as well as the targeted products contributed to more variety of healthy convenience foods and may therefore have contributed to improved public health. The results were also relevant to the European fishing and marine resource industry in general because of the increased value of side streams an un-utilized marine based resources.