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Researchers Develop Antihypertensive Treatments From Fish Discards

19 January 2016, at 12:00am

SPAIN - Researchers at the University of Granada have obtained antihypertensive peptides from low-value species such as sardines or mackerel.

The researchers have developed low-cost antihypertensive treatments from the protein fraction of fish species usually discarded in the southern Mediterranean region and north coast of the Alboran Sea.

In this area, the most discarded species are commercial species such as sardine, horse mackerel and bream.

These discards are due to not meeting the minimum size, quota restrictions and trade practices as "highgrading" (increased discarding of fish by retaining only the highest value).

Other species such as dogfish and boga, highly present in the catch, are usually discarded because of their low commercial value.

Antihypertensive peptides are bioactive compounds from natural sources (animal or vegetable) and may reduce blood pressure in the body by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which is responsible for altering blood pressure in the body.

As explained by the director of this research, Emilia Guadix Maria Escobar, the Department of Chemical Engineering of the UGR, existing studies estimate global discard rate, based on the total catch of 8 per cent, leading to an annual quantity of discards of 7.3 million tons.

Mackerel and dogfish were found to work best due to their high protein content, between 17 and 23 per cent on wet basis.

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