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Extracting Novel Values from Aqueous Seafood Side Steams - NoVAqua

  • Published 23/04/2015
During seafood production, significant amounts of valuable biomolecules are lost and discarded in waste waters. Very few attempts have been done to turn seafood-processing waters into revenue before they become waste. Therefore, this project’s aim is to explore three groups of mild processing concepts that utilise the full potential of valuable compounds in aqueous seafood side streams, and thereby add value to an untapped resource of aquatic biomass.

Extracting Novel Values from Aqueous Seafood Side Steams - NoVAqua


From 02/03/2015
To 28/02/2018

The Nordic project Extracting Novel Values from Aqueous Seafood Side Steams – NoVAqua – aims at adding value to seafood process waters through multiple applications within e.g. food and feed production. NoVAqua is built upon close collaboration between process equipment suppliers, seafood companies, aquafeed producers and two universities; the latter in Sweden and Denmark.


The first year of the project has been highly active, and an initial focus has been to map the generation of process waters within two seafood segments; shrimp steaming/peeling and herring marinating. Efforts have also been put on unravelling the composition of shrimp and herring process waters, and on performing lab- and pilot-scale trials to recover protein-enriched biomasses. So far, tests have revealed up to ~2 % protein containing up to ~40 % essential amino acids. Presence of several high-value compounds like omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin, calcium and magnesium has also been detected.


Significant variations in the composition between samplings have led to the initiation of a monthly sampling, spanning from September 2015 to August 2016. Next year, the project consortium will thus know much more e.g. about seasonal variations regarding molecules leaching from shrimps to process waters. In order to recover a biomass from the shrimp process waters without destroying its functionality and the possibility to use it in food and feed, a mild separation system has been set up. On pilot scale, up to 80 % of the proteins could be recovered together significant amounts of astaxanthin and fatty acids.


In the coming project period, further pilot scale trials will be carried out, with subsequent incorporation of the biomass in aquafeed. Trials with shrimp process waters as functional ingredients in frozen seafood will also be initiated.



From left to right upper row: James Hinchcliffe (Gothenburg University/Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), Tore Svendsen (Bio-Aqua, Denmark), Gunvor Baardsen (Skretting ARC, Norway), Johan Johannesson (Räk & Laxgrossiten AB, sweden), Kristina Sundell (Gothenburg University, Sweden). Front row from left to right: Ingrid Undeland (Coordinator, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), Erik Jessen Jurgensen (Bio-Aqua, Denmark), Caroline Baron (DTU Foods, Denmark). Missing in picture: representative from Fisk Idag, Sweden

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Project Owner 
Chalmers, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering 

Project leader  
Ingrid Undeland, Chalmers