Novel seaweed products to combat iodine deficiency disorders

According to the World Health Organization, 40 % of the world's population is at risk from iodine deficiency. Seaweed is the best known and most reliable source of natural iodine, but production is dominated by larger Asian players, and seawater pollution affects product quality.

Iodine intake in Europe is low. In Germany alone, iodine deficiency is responsible for annual healthcare costs of nearly EUR 900 million. Furthermore, the market for iodine products is expected to steadily increase until 2020, with Europe being the main regional market.

The EU-funded Blue Iodine II (Boost BLUE economy through market uptake an innovative seaweed bioextract for IODINE fortification II) project produced new cost-effective seaweed iodine products to tackle iodine deficiency in three main target groups: children (aged from 7 to 14) pregnant and breastfeeding women and older people.

These groups have a particular need for iodine intake: there's no product on the market specifically for children and older people, and no clear leader in products for natural iodine support to pregnant women or those that breastfeed. "We wanted to differentiate our product by specialising in the development of high-quality seaweed products based on protein enrichment with natural iodine that's rich in essential amino acids," says project coordinator Dr João Dionísio.

He explains that the seaweed is indigenous to Portugal's Macaronesian region where the project facilities and fish farms are located. It's naturally high in iodine and protein content, and very stable. The seaweed is ideal for processing as regards iodine extract production.

Photo: Tasting session of algae bread in UMA (credit: UBQ-BIO MADEIRA)

Favourable conditions conducive to seaweed development

Land production under sterile conditions generates seedlings that ensure a continuous supply of seaweed for production. Offshore cultivation allows a greater quantity of seaweed.

Project partners successfully developed and maintained propagules in the lab for one algae species. They carried out algae growth in small reactors that showed a good growth rate and produced enough raw material for replication and lab analysis. Then, they transferred the seaweed propagules to seawater tanks.

Researchers employed special facilities for seaweed cultivation in land-based tanks, and their proximity to the sea makes seawater available all year at minimal seawater-pumping costs. Seaweed production near offshore fish farms exploited waste from gilt-head (sea) bream which is rich in nutrients, and helped to avoid waste discharge into the marine environment.

Innovative biorefinery procedure for optimised production

Scientists also developed a biorefinery process to thoroughly exploit all the seaweed biomass using cold press extraction and filtering techniques to obtain purified extracts.

Market analysis and feedback from potential distributors revealed the need to demonstrate the iodine extract's benefits. In addition, clinical trials are under way with human subjects in order to validate product quality. The consortium is evaluating potential customers in target markets in Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

The seaweed iodine product (IODOBEM) has several novel features. "It's a natural extract that provides iodine and a broad range of nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals beneficial to human metabolism," claims Dr Dionisio.

The Blue Iodine II product offers clear benefits. "The extracted proteins possess essential amino acids and stabilise iodine during assimilation. Moreover, IODOBEM also avoids an overdose of mineral elements, namely sodium chloride, to give a natural product with clear advantages over products of inorganic origin."

Source: Cordis

Read more


No comments to display.

Related posts

Hadron Therapy Industry 2019-2025: Global Size, Share, Emerging Trends, Demand, Revenue and Forecasts Research

Hadron Therapy Industry 2019 Global Market research report studies latest Hadron Therapy industry aspects market size, share, trends, growth, business overview and Hadron Therapy industry scenario during the forecast period (2019-2025).

Acid Catalysts Industry 2019: Global Market Size, Growth, Share, Insights, Supply, Drivers, Demand, Outlook, Trends and Forecasts 2025

A latest report has been added to the wide database of Orian Research Consultant titled “Global Acid Catalysts Market Research Report (2025)” which provides an outlook of current market value, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast.

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Industry 2019 Global Market Size, Share, Growth, Sales and Drivers Analysis Research Report 2025

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Industry 2019 Global Market Research report provides information regarding market size, share, trends, growth, cost structure, capacity, and revenue and forecast 2025.

Black Pellets Industry 2019 Global Market Size, Outlook, Demand, Key Manufacturers and 2025 Forecast

A recent market report published on the “Black Pellets Industry” presents an in-depth overview of the Black Pellets industry. Global Black Pellets market research report covers the overview, summary, Black Pellets market dynamics, competitive analysis, and leading player’s various strategies to sustain in the global market. Apart from this, the Black Pellets report also covers detail information about various clients which is the most significant element for the manufacturers.

Call for Applications: Startup World Cup 2019

Startup World Cup ("SWC") offers innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for startup ecosystems around the world. This platform consists of a global series of startup conferences and competitions that bring together phenomenal startups, VCs, and world-class tech CEOs.
Application Deadline in 2 months

EU Call for Proposals: Information and promotion about the sustainable aspect of rice production

The objective is to highlight the sustainable aspect of rice sector. Rice production in Europe has a particular environmental dimension, being at the heart of the preservation of certain wetlands. Rice cultivation is a sensitive and specific practice at European level, since it is produced in areas where there are few crop alternatives. Its preservation and improvement contribute to the sustainability of rice producing regions, by playing an active role in maintaining rural areas, protecting nature and preserving biodiversity. Actions shall highlight the environmental sustainability of the production, stressing its beneficial role for climate action and the environment.
Application Deadline in 23 days

A low-cost and open-source platform for automated imaging

Remote monitoring of plants using hyperspectral imaging has become an important tool for the study of plant growth, development, and physiology. Many applications are oriented towards use in field environments to enable non-destructive analysis of crop responses due to factors such as drought, nutrient deficiency, and disease, e.g., using tram, drone, or airplane mounted instruments.

Can developing nations compete in a digital world?

People want in on e-commerce for simple reasons - choice, ease, speed, cost, convenience. Yet not everyone benefits equally, especially in least developed countries.