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Protein isolation from herring

  • Publisert 23.02.2005
  • Sist oppdatert 20.05.2011

Frontpage report


The main aim of the project Protein Isolation from Herring was to scale up a new protein isolation technique from lab scale to a continuous pilot plant scale with herring as raw material.

Other parts of the project included optimisation of the process on lab scale with herring to facilitate the scale up and to develop methodologies for further processing of the protein isolate produced in the plant by developing dehydration and surimi processing. By reaching those aims the long term vision of the project is that the protein isolate process will increase the part of the Nordic herring catch being used for food production increasing its value and open up new opportunities for the Nordic fish processing industry. 

During the life span of the project many of the original aims were reached, but unexpected obstacles on the way prevented that others were accomplished. Throughout the project time there have also been changes on the market for fish protein products opening up new possibilities for the protein isolation process.

In the original plan the aim was to process those two types of products; surimi and dried protein. Since the project started there have been changes on the surimi market whereas supply of surimi from countries like India, China and Russia has increased. That has made the surimi market less attractive for the Scandinavian fish producers. 

On the other hand market survey showed that interest for use of protein isolates for injection and marination to increase quality and stability of products has been growing. Another market has also been developing during the project time according to a market survey and that’s the market for protein hydrolysates as functional foods. Many research suggest that fish protein hydrolysates have higher bioactive properties than other protein hydrolysates and are therefore very promising on the functional food market.


Results and conclusions

Pretrials were protein isolates made with the technique developed in the project were used as raw material for injection and protein hydrolyses have given very promising results. Market survey showed that the future for fish proteins can be bright both as protein isolates to be used in marination and injection or as ingredients in functional foods. The results from this project are a step on the way towards that bright future and they give the Nordic fish industry, equipment producers and researchers a head start on that journey.

Project duration: 01.01.2001 - 30.09.2005

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