UWB Crest

Novel Ingredients from Seaweed Extracts (NISE)

Functional Food Ingredients

Novel Ingredients with Health Benefits

There is a demand for novel foods that address the growing obesity epidemic and associated diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. There is also a need to mitigate the symptoms of some old age diseases, such as MS and Alzheimers.

Cholesterol lowering ingredients

Extraction of the seaweed using supercritical CO2 will produce an extract rich in lipids and sterols and these will have nutritional value as a source of omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols, which are used to lower cholesterol.


Extraction with more polar solvents such as ethanol will produce extracts that contain the pigment fucoxanthin which is claimed to help reduce body fat and is used in nutritional supplements. It is also expected that these extracts will contain phenolic compounds which are potent antioxidants.

Salt replacement

Using water based extraction, proteins, peptides and amino acids will be obtained which can be used as replacements for salt in food, an important application at a time when there is a focus on salt reduction. These peptides are responsible for the umami taste which although distinct from “saltiness” imparts a pleasant savoury flavour to food.


Aqueous extraction will also produce the familiar polysaccharides, alginate and carrageenan but also unique sulphated polysaccharides such as fucoidans. This polysaccharide has been widely studied and has particular use as an anticoagulant.

Animal Protein Replacecments

As well as functional food additives with health benefits companies are looking for animal protein replacements. Currently egg white protein is used in Quorn formulations. This project will look at the possible substitution of egg white with seaweed protein. If successful this will allow the products to be developed for the vegan market and will help reduce the carbon footprint of the Quorn drastically.