- Start date: 01/11/2019
- End date: 31/10/2021
- Funder: Innovate UK
- Value: £187,684
- Partners and collaborators: Pennog Limited, Vitrition UK Ltd, TerraVerdae BioWorks Inc
- Primary investigator: Professor Francisco M. Goycoolea
- Co-investigators: Professor Caroline Orfila, Professor Long Lin
- External co-investigators: Dr Kalpana Durga, Vitrition UK Limited; Dr William Bardosh, TerraVerdae Bioworks; Dr Jonathan Wilts, TerraVerdae Bioworks; Dr Jonathan Hughes, Pennog Limited
- Postgraduate students: Vicente Miron Merida
The principal objective of the project is to evaluate the performance of chitins, chitosans, asthaxantin and calcium lactate from three Canadian shell by-product waste types (snow crab, lobster and shrimp) and two UK sources (brown crab and langoustine) as high-value ingredients for functional foods and supplements.
The collaborative project will bring the expertise of three SMEs: Terravedae in Prince Edward Island (Canada) specialising in waste processing, Pennotec in Wales (UK) specialising in industrial biotechnology, and Vitrition in Yorkshire (UK) specialising in supplement manufacture. The industrial expertise will be supplemented by academic expertise from the University of Leeds in chitin/chitosan analysis, supercritical extraction of asthaxanthin and Nutrition.
This project will address a major technical challenge to develop food grade, efficient and green processes for hygienic conversion of shell waste, which is classified as animal waste and prone to bacterial contamination, into high-value food ingredients or supplements, without the application of polluting chemicals or energy intensive processing.
This joint Innovate UK/Eureka industrial research project will deliver benefits to both UK and Canada. It has impact in the following areas:
TAMFI seeks to deliver an optimized production platform for high-value food grade ingredients for food and supplement applications. Exploitation of the chitosan would generate revenue to UK and Canada's economies, from currently unexploited bio-resource (shell waste). Finally, calcium lactate for the osteo-care market with estimated CAGR of 5%.
Both countries are large scale producers of seafood, with huge tonnage of marine crustacean waste generated by the seafood industry annually. Crustacean shell is classified as an animal by-product in both countries, with rapid bacterial spoilage and chemical decomposition. This unavoidable shell waste poses considerable environmental challenges to producing communities.
Current methods of shell processing include treatment with harsh chemicals (strong acidic or alkaline solutions), which pose an additional environmental hazard. A main aim of TAMFI is to process Canadian and UK shell waste into high-value side products, reducing the volume of shell waste. Clean and energy efficient technologies will be used to process shell and extract high-value ingredients.
Technical advances will lead to development and maintenance of fit-for-purpose regulations and practical guidance for waste utilisation technologies. Engagement with legislative agencies in Canada and the UK during and after the completion of the project is envisaged.