Marine Food Projects Win €4.5m FIRM Research Funding

Eight marine foods and marine biotechnology related projects will receive €4.5m from the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) 2013.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute welcomed the announcement by Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine of the successful projects to be funded by the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM).

The funding will generate knowledge that will be accessible to Irish firms seeking to generate greater value from marine bioresources in developing food and health related products.

The projects address a range of research challenges facing the marine foods sector including enhancing the quality of ready-to-eat crabs and lobster products and applying novel processing technologies to extend the shelf-life of fish. Significant amongst the projects is the focus on the use of marine bio-resources as the basis for food-health products. This includes projects that seek to exploit Ireland’s seaweed resource, targeting its use as a source of prebiotic ingredients for compounds that improve brain health; and exploiting the anti-inflammatory effects of seaweed compounds on bowel disease. These projects rely on bioactive compounds extracted from seaweeds, and a related project will investigate how to optimize the chemical composition of some species of seaweed to enhance the yield of bioactives.

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