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About the programme

The initiative was launched in April 2008 and is led by Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre. The work programme aims to identify novel marine

food ingredients and products with focus preliminarily on these main marine sources:

  • Fish processing waste streams or rest raw materials
  • Under utilised species of fish and seaweed including microalgae and microalgae
  • Aquaculture

NutraMara utilises the expertise of up to 30 individual scientists (research officers and postgraduate students) from seven different institutes across the island of Ireland including Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre (Teagasc MFRC), University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD), NUI Galway (NUIG), University of Limerick (UL) and University of Ulster (UU). The objectives for the consortium include:

  • Creation of a strong, interdisciplinary research association, capable of exploiting marine biodiversity as a source of material.
  • Establishment of new research venues in marine functional foods – linking indigenous and multi-national food and pharmaceutical industries with researchers at state and higher education research institution.
  • Engagement in priority research activities such as complete extraction, biological 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 dietary intervention studies on characterised marine bioactives.
  • To develop model foods enhanced with marine origin bioactives and capabilities to process marine-based materials for use by the functional ingredients sector.
  • Development and implementation of training programs aimed at providing inter-disciplinary skills critical to the food industry sector.
  • Securing research funds from national and international sources that will enable the NutraMara consortium to expand its research base in relevant areas to the advantage of Ireland’s food, food ingredients and pharmaceutical sectors.
  • Ensuring that commercially valuable results of the research programme are appropriately protected and made available to Irish industry for efficient and effective commercialisation.
  • Promotion of organisational connections and linkages, both within and beyond the participants in the programme, within and among campuses, industry, other research bodies and international collaborators.

Photos from alagebase.com used with permission from Prof. Michael Guiry