Researcher Pedro Valencia. (Photo: dgc.usm.cl)
Salmon farming wastes used to create 'healthy ingredient'
Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 16:30 (GMT + 9)
A Chilean scientist will study the salmon muscle hydrolyzates in order to develop a component that when including it in food, consumers’ health will be benefitted.
The use of waste from the salmon industry will also produce technological advantages when it comes to storage.
The researcher Pedro Valencia, Chemistry Department at the University of Santa Maria, obtained financial support from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondecyt) to launch the initiative Functional Properties of Salmon Muscle Hydrolysates: Multiobjetive Optimization.
Valencia said the project idea is to give value to the salmon farming byproducts and to reduce the negative impact of the cost of disposing waste.
"We use enzymes that in this specific case are called proteases to hydrolyze the proteins found in the muscle and thus they are reduced to their basic units, amino acids and peptides. When the latter are formed, they have many functional properties," he explains.
This process helps to obtain the muscle hydrolyzate, an ingredient with beneficial properties for consumers’ health and also improves the qualities of foods, such as water retention and preservation.
"After its consumption, it offers a lot of benefits for the body: it is antioxidant, which prevents cellular decay and aging" and it is also hypotensive, continued the researcher at the University of Santa Maria.
"This second feature is so because it inhibits an enzyme in the body that tends to raise blood pressure when it is active," says the researcher.
At the level of technological properties, this ingredient is useful for increasing the emulsification capacity and water retention in canned goods.
In addition, it can be used as hydrolyzate protein food for the salmon themselves thanks to its nutrition quality.
Research is expected to last three years.
By Analia Murias