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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » November 29, 2012
Ecology
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Recycling Fish Waste
November 29, 2012   
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Dietary supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids from salmon skin, bio-packaging from fish waste—methods to obtain such products are being developed by doctoral students at the Department of Chemistry of the Gdańsk University of Technology in northern Poland.

The young researchers have been awarded scholarships available under the fourth round of the InnoDoktorant (Innovative Doctoral Student) program in the food-processing technology category.

One of the young researchers, Agnieszka Głowacz, is working on the utilization of skins mechanically removed from salmon. Her research work could make it possible to use waste from oily fish as a source of valuable, healthy substances.

“The idea is to obtain, in a single manufacturing process, both oil and fish gelatine, and then use them to produce capsules and microcapsules of dietary supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids,” says Głowacz. “This approach will make it possible to efficiently use fishing industry byproducts and their valuable ingredients.”

Głowacz says she is ready to work together with businesses in evaluating the possibilities for utilizing various types of fishing industry waste. One option is to develop manufacturing technology for gelatine microcapsules containing fish oil and share know-how for the manufacture of new types of dietary supplements with essential omega 3 fatty acids. Głowacz says she is also ready to explore the possibility of enriching certain functional foods with microcapsuled fish oil.

Karolina Gottfried is also pursuing research related to the use of waste materials. In her research work, Gottfried has modified the properties of natural polymers to use them as components of biodegradable food packaging. The research also concerns utilizing fishing industry waste.

“An appropriate selection of the chemical modifications of polymers, in addition to improving the performance of film, makes it possible to obtain active packaging with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties,” says Gottfried.

According to Gottfried, her solution is universal and gives a double opportunity to minimize waste. First, the waste will be processed into valuable products; second, these products will be used to produce biodegradable packaging materials. This will reduce the amount of plastic packaging in landfills.

The InnoDoktorant program of scholarships for doctoral students is supported by the European Union as part of its Human Capital Operational Program for the 2007-2013 period.
Karolina Olszewska
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