Norwegian shrimp can reduce high blood pressure

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
12 March 2007, at 12:00am

NORWAY - Preliminary studies done by Fiskeriforskning show, for example, that shells and heads from Norwegian shrimp likely have a very high content of protein bits that can reduce high blood pressure.

Different types of bioactive bits of protein, so called peptides, can for example, reduce high blood pressure, stimulate the immune system and counteract cardiovascular disease. Some peptides also act as natural antioxidants. Now, preliminary measurements show that proteins from shrimp have a very high content of these blood pressure-reducing substances.

Come in useful in health and medicine

Because the competition in the shrimp industry is increasing, the importance of commercial exploitation of leftover raw materials from shrimp will also increase. Thus, it is becoming important to exploit raw materials with high nutritional value and valuable bioactive substances - raw materials that today are either being lost or used for feed production.

- It is regrettable that these are not being utilised to a greater extent directly for food, nutritional ingredients or in health foods and medicines, says Project Manager at Fiskeriforskning, Asbjørn Gildberg.

- There has been considerable basic research on exploitation of leftover raw materials from the fisheries in Norway. Norway is also in the research front when it comes to this kind of research, but one cannot always say the same when it comes to industrial utilisation of the results.

- We often see that other countries, such as Iceland and Canada, are better at using new results when it concerns utilising marine raw materials. We want to help improve this situation for Norway's part, says the scientist.

- If the fishing industry produces food and nutritional ingredients from more of the raw materials, this will, of course, be positive for both the environment and the economy, says Asbjørn Gildberg in closing.

A lot is going to waste

In total, leftover raw materials from shrimp account for approximately two-thirds of the raw materials, where shells and heads make up almost one-third and one-third of the raw materials are lost in the thaw water and process water. Even though there are continuous process improvements to increase the yield, the leftover products will always account for the main quantity in shrimp production.

Today, standard methods for purification of shrimp shells for further processing include the use of chemicals, which can diminish the quality, makes the process expensive and has environmental consequences. Fiskeriforskning has now shown that most of the protein can easily be removed with the help of enzymes, which will result in a considerable reduction in the use of chemicals.