Development of multifunctional biomaterials from marine waste for application in the food or medical industry.

The aim of this project is to isolate green compounds with antibiofilm activity, anticancer and cosmeceutic from waste generated by the seafood industry. Chitosan oligosaccharides (cos) will be purified, evaluated and included in formulations to be used in the food, medical and cosmetic industry.

Biofilm formation is an important bacterial survival strategy occurring spontaneously on both inert and living systems and many disinfectants are used to avoid or suppressed this biofilms-formation in the food industry or in medical infections. The resistance of these biofilms to biocides can increase the persistence of bacterial pathogens in the food environment or in hospital settings. Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus are important food-borne pathogens whose ability to form disinfectant-tolerant biofilms on a variety of surfaces presents a food safety challenge for manufacturers of foodstuffs. Listeria monocytogenes accounts for an average 1500 and 2500 cases per year in Europe and the United States, respectively. Even though its relatively low incidence, it can cause listeriosis, a severe disease with a high case fatality rate (20%-50%) in susceptible populations. On the other hand, Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major bacteria causing food-borne diseases in consumers. A high incidence of Staphylococus aureus has been found in dairy, meat, eggs, poultry, fishery and processed products, among others. Microbial biofilms also constitute a concern in the medical o clinical industry, since they can develop on or within indwelling medical devices: contact lenses, venous, dialysis or urinary catheters, needleless connectors, endotracheal tubes, intrauterine devices, mechanical heart valves, pacemakers, prosthetic joints, tympanostomy tubes, and others. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are the most common organism to form a biofilm in medical tools and cause an infection, although other bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus viridans, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are as well important. One key factor that makes biofilms particularly difficult in medical situations is their heightened resistance to antibiotics. The oceans cover more than 70 % of the Earth´s surface and we use less than 10% of the total ocean area. Several antimicrobial compounds have been isolated from marine microbes, algae or invertebrates. In South Korea, almost one million tons of seafood byproducts (fish skin, bones, heads, intestines, crustacean and shellfish shells…) are generated annually from fish processing plants. Only a small percentage is recovered as value-added products. Therefore, there is a need to find methods utilizing these materials efficiently and more meaningfully. Chitosan is a natural nontoxic biopolymer produced by the deacetylation of chitin, a major component of crustacean shell wastes. Biodegradable and nonallergenic nature of chitosan especially encourages its potential use as bioactive material. Even though chitosan is known to have important functional activities, poor solubility makes them difficult to use in food and medical applications. Chito-oligosaccharides (COS) are the degradation products of chitosan and they are extensively utilized in foods and medicines owing to their physiological benefits. The biocompatibility and biodegradability properties of these oligosaccharides, along with their biological properties such as antimicrobial activities or antitumor effects, make them promising candidates for various industrial and clinical applications. Taking into account this economical and health problem, the main objective of this project is the isolation, purification and characterization of small molecules, as COS, from marine waste material in order to develop a biocide that minimizes biofilm formation and eliminate bacteria in the food or medical industry. The Department of Chemistry and Marine Bioprocess Research Center, Busan, South Korea has much expertise and proved patents in this field and different antimicrobial compounds have been already characterized. Department of Food Safety of ANFACO-CECOPESCA has a long experience working on microbiology, developing methods to detect or minimize pathogens.
Project ID: 
11 162
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 440 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Resources of the Sea, Fisheries
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.