The Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative (NutraMara) is a programme for marine based functional food development established by the Marine Insititute and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
NutraMara is focused on the following marine resources:
- Fish processing waste streams
- Rest raw materials
The initiative is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) and the Marine Institute (MI). The programme is led by Teagasc Food Research Centre Ashtown, and has six other members. These include:
University College Cork (UCC)
University College Dublin (UCD)
The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway)
University of Ulster (UU)
University of Limerick (UL)
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Cork.
NutraMara objectives include:
- Creation of a strong, interdisciplinary research capability, capable of exploiting marine biodiversity as a source of materials for use in functional foods.
- Establishment of new research capabilities in marine functional foods – linking indigenous and multinational food and pharmaceutical industries with researchers and higher education research institutions.
- Engagement in priority research activities such as complete extraction, biological characterisation and chemical characterisation of polyphenols, peptides, polysaccharides, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein hydrolysates and materials with antioxidant, probiotic or prebiotic properties and to conduct small scale, pilot intervention studies.
- To develop model foods enhanced with marine derived bioactive ingredients.
- Development of training programmes.
- Securing research funding from national and international sources.
The NutraMara work programme consists of five scientific work packages, one outreach and dissemination activities work package and a management work package.
The management structure of NutraMara is:
It consists of 30 researchers based at 7 institutes across the whole island of Ireland.