Seaweed farming. (Photo: fishdept.sabah.gov.my)
Seaweed research gets EUR 2 mln injection
Friday, September 17, 2010, 01:10 (GMT + 9)
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry’s Fisheries Department is funding research with a MYR 8.1 million (EUR 2 million) grant on local seaweeds in hopes of acquiring 10 food and 10 non-food based products out of them.
Lasting two years, the research project is spearheaded by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and is run by several local universities and government agencies.
Also involved in the Seaweed Downstream Research Centre (SDRC) are the following institutions: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) and the Fisheries Research Institute in Batu Maung, Penang.
Dr Nazaruddin Ramli, a senior lecturer with UKM's School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, is the project’s “architect.”
He said that the centre was established following a workshop he organised on seaweeds for fisheries and agricultural researchers and officers last January in Putrajaya. After the conference, he was asked to sketch a concept paper and proposals for research to be done on downstream or commercial uses of the seaweeds living in Malaysian waters, Bernama reports.
Already, 11 types of seaweeds have been identified in Malaysian waters by the researchers at the centre.
In terms of food items, the researchers will seek food ingredients used in the making of meat products, noodles, confectioneries and other products, as well as the antioxidant properties of the seaweeds.
Regarding non-food products, the researchers will study the possibility of producing bio-plastic, bio-sensors and bio-fertilisers out of the seaweeds.
- Seaweed aquaculture to bring EUR 20 mln by 2013
By Natalia Real