The aim of the project is to develop a method for the production of seaweed-derived oligosaccharides (SOS). It is an effort towards developing biotechnology-based industrial processes for increased valorization of seaweeds, which grow abundantly on Icelandic shores but are currently of low value and are poorly utilized.
Macroalgae contain large quantities of diverse polysaccharides, including ulvan, fucoidan, carrageenan, xylan, laminarin and alginate. Oligosaccharides, which can be produced by partial degradation of polysaccharides, are used in the food industry to alter flavor and texture of food products, and for prebiotic effects. They have low caloric value and hence can be used in place of sugar- and/or fat to produce healthier foodstuffs. SOS aims to develop new oligosaccharides, derived from enzymatic processing of seaweed polysaccharides. The enzymes used in the project were recently identified and characterized by researchers at Matís in relation to research projects Marikat and CarboZymes CarboZymes and Marikat.