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[AVX Seminar] Challenges in Seafood Research: Bioprospection, Value Chain, and Aquaculture. Narcisa Bandarra

Narcisa Bandarra, IPMA

When 06 Jul, 2017 from
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where Auditorium
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AVX Seminar

Title: Challenges in Seafood Research: Bioprospection, Value Chain, and Aquaculture

Speaker: Narcisa Bandarra

Affiliation: IPMA


The Division of Aquaculture and Upgrading (DivAV) of the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA, I.P.) is a central stage agent in meeting the current challenges in seafood research. This is embodied in the different research areas that have benefited from DivAV’s investigation groups. These areas encompass aquaculture, upgrading of the value chain, nutritional upgrading and food quality, biotechnology, biomedicine, and health impact modelling and assessment. For furthering research in these fields, researchers (staff and graduate, MSc, PhD, and Post-Doc fellows), sophisticated equipments, and state-of-the-art methodologies have been invested within the frame of national and international scientific projects. These comprise all aforementioned areas: AQUACOR, DIVERSIAQUA, and AQUAMAX in aquaculture; QCA III, SECUREFISH, ALGAENE and ALGAVALUE in upgrading of the value chain; YOUNG-SEAFOOD+, QCA III, and GOODFISH in food quality; NOVELMAR, ALGAVALUE, and ALGARED+ in biotechnology; NOVELMAR in biomedicine; and BENPER, QALIBRA, and GOODFISH in risk-benefit modelling. On the basis of this effort, important breakthroughs have been achieved, yielding publications in scientific journals. Namely, farmed meagre was subjected to a thorough study enabling to better understand the factors affecting its survival, health, welfare and quality as food and it was possible to identify a particular diet with partial vegetable oil substitution as a nutritional quality optimiser of sole on the basis of an in vitro model for nutrient bioaccessibility determination. Indeed, this model was adapted by DivAV and applied to nutrients and contaminants in wild and farmed fish species (meagre, gilthead seabream, salmon, tuna, and others). This was combined with lipidomics techniques and other analytical methodologies for a deeper knowledge of the nutritional quality of seafood and an insightful understanding of the underlying mechanisms in food processing that affect quality. More recently, this wide array of methodologies has been directed to underexploited marine organisms with the purpose of unveiling bioactivities (antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, among others) and identifying and quantifying bioactive compounds, thereby representing a valuable bioprospection effort with an emphasis on seaweeds and microalgae. Besides in vitro techniques, DivAV has cooperated with other institutions in the conduction of in vivo trials. This has included a very interesting recent work on structured lipids, which has shown the potential of this new concept in improving nutritional benefit and health as modelled in animals. All these data have been used as input for mathematical models for the more rigorous assessment of the risk-benefit binomial. This has been very fruitful, yielding several papers on black scabbard fish, cephalopods, hake, ray, meagre, salmon and other seafood. In this way, informed recommendations regarding seafood cooking and consumption have been issued to the general population and particular groups (children, nursing mothers). Last but not least, DivAV has also developed new healthy seafood products and nutraceuticals owing to the collected composition knowledge and the application of emerging food processing technologies. Therefore, DivAV has positioned itself as a key and strategic partner in the seafood research and in the seafood value chain in Portugal.

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