Issue 2's archives
Scientists exploring a deep ocean basin in search of new species found marine life believed to be previously undiscovered, including a tentacled orange worm and an unusual black jellyfish. Project leader Dr. Larry Madin said Tuesday that U.S. and Philippine scientists collected about 100 different specimens in a search in the Celebes Sea south of the Philippines. The deepest part of the Celebes Sea is 16,500 feet.
“This is probably the center where many of the species evolved and spread to other parts of the ocean, so it’s going back to the source in many ways,” Madin reported. Madin said the specimens they collected included several possibly newly discovered species. One was a sea cucumber that is nearly transparent which could swim by bending its elongated body. Another was a black jellyfish found near the sea floor. The most striking creature found was a spiny orange-colored worm that had 10 tentacles like a squid, Madin said. “We don’t know what it is … it might be something new,” he said.
He said it would take “a few more weeks” of research to determine whether the species are newly discovered. He expects to release a report shortly.
Strategro International, a market entry and business growth consultancy, spoke to a packed room of seafood processors at the International Boston Seafood Show recently offering examples of how companies and researchers worldwide are developing valuable products from seafood processing waste streams.
For the unenlightened seafood company, seafood byproducts can pose a headache and a significant cost item for disposal, storage, or dumping (which in many areas is illegal). For those involved in further processing of seafood byproducts, desirable compounds can be extracted and purified into high value ingredients with application in the feed, food, health and nutrition, cosmeceuticals, and the research and diagnostic markets.
New company Oceangrown International is counting on the science and appeal for marine-derived nutraceutical ingredients as it sets out to launch new products for the cosmeceutical, nutrition and weight management markets. The Utah-based company says it is focussing on marine-based product lines following strong growth in the marine nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals market. Beginning with skincare, Oceangrown’s initial product, Oave, is a daily skin supplement, containing the carotenoid astaxanthin and Antarctic krill oil. The company sees opportunities for such ingredients across a wide-range of markets
A study conducted by the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research concludes that coating a stainless steel surface with a non-toxic fish extract is more effective in preventing microbial adhesion and biofilm formation than uncoated surfaces or surfaces coated with tryptone soy broth. Microbial adhesion and biofilm formation on surfaces pose major problems and risks to human health. In the study, bacterial attachment was quantified by different methods including (a) direct fluorescence microscopy, (b) removal by ultrasound and subsequent quantification of the adhered bacteria, and (c) re-growth of the adhered bacteria measured by indirect conductometry. Surprisingly, the bacterial counts on surfaces coated with aqueous fish extract were 10-100 times lower than on surfaces coated with laboratory broths when surfaces were submerged in bacterial suspensions. The bacteria grow well in the fish extract; hence a general bacteriocidal effect is not the reason for the antifouling effect. The research concludes that coating the stainless steel surface with fish extract results in a thin protein layer that reduces bacterial adhesion significantly.
Danish firm Pronova BioPharma announced recently that it is to double manufacturing capacity for its marine-derived active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), following increased demand for its omega-3 based drug. Work on the new facility is due to begin, with the plant expected to be operational and approved by regulators by the first half of 2010. The company is investing NOK1.45-1.7bn (€189-222m) on the brand new plant in Kalundborg, Denmark, which will contribute an additional 1,200 tonnes of active ingredient per year and will be fitted out with the same technology and will have the same structure as Pronova’s existing site in Sandefjord. Both production facilities are used to manufacture the API for the company’s Omacor product (Lovaza in the US), which is the first and only EU and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved omega-3 derived prescription drug according to the company, and is prescribed to treat elevated levels of triglycerides, a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia (HTG). Also, the drug has been approved in Europe for patients having just suffered a heart attack.