Fish protein markets. Analysis of products on the market




Guðjón Þorkelsson, Þóra Valsdóttir, Guðrún Anna Finnbogadóttir, Sigrún Mjöll Halldórsdóttir

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Guðjón Þorkelsson

Strategic Scientist

Fish protein markets. Analysis of products on the market

The report begins with a general description of proteins in the food market, ie. different types of proteins and market share. The main products with fish proteins are also described, i.e. fishmeal, fish protein concentrate, surimi, isolati, fish digestion, fish sauce, flavors, gelatin, dietary supplements and their health-related properties. Targeted diet with soy, milk and fish proteins is described. The main conclusions about the position of fish proteins in this market are: The use of protein isolates in injected and tumbled products will increase the economic, nutritional and environmental value with better utilization of raw materials in fillet processing. Also in the production of prepared seafood. There are still many problems that need to be solved. It would be possible to achieve considerably more value if it were possible to produce high-quality isolates from fatty pelagic fish. Despite indications of various excellent processing properties of fish proteins, methods of isolation and purification are less advanced than for vegetable and milk proteins. They can not compete with them as excipients in prepared foods. However, there is a good chance of developing more supplements from hydrolyzed fish proteins (VFP), for example to reduce blood pressure or to increase the body's protection against stress. Certain protein products can even be used to control appetite in the fight against obesity. In addition, there are products on the market to lower the glycemic index. The market for such fish protein products is not large but is likely to grow, and there are opportunities to use traditional production methods such as fermentation to increase the bioactivity properties of VFP and use them in products known to consumers. It is very likely that low-salt fish sauces and fish flavors with specially designed bioactive properties will be on offer in the future. However, this is partly due to the fact that the health claims are accepted. This requires extensive and costly research that will require both public bodies and companies to pay for.

A short overview is given for products and the market for food protein ingredients. The main types of fish protein products are described, that is, fish meal, fish protein concentrate and isolate, surimi, fish silage, fish sauce, fish flavors and gelatine. Food supplements with soy, dairy and fish proteins or peptides and their health-related properties are covered. The main conclusions for the future outlook for fish protein and peptide products are: Applying protein isolates as water binders in injected and tumbled products will result in greater additional economic, nutritional and environmental values by increasing the yield of raw materials in fish filleting operation and by using them in production of ready-to-eat seafood products. There would be an even greater economic advantage if pH-shift methods could be used to produce high-quality isolates from raw material that today is unfit for traditional processing. Fish protein ingredients cannot compete on price, size and quality with plant and dairy proteins on the functional ingredient market. Plant and dairy ingredients will continue to be a part of formulating ready-to-eat convenience fish products. More supplements from FPH can be developed to reduce high blood pressure but they will face heavy competition from other protein sources. The antioxidant properties of FPH can be employed in supplements and food products to enhance the antioxidant defenses of the body against oxidative stress. They can also be used as immunomodulators to enhance non-specific host defense mechanisms. Specific protein products can even be made to control food intake in the fight against obesity. The market for such products made from fish proteins is not big but it will grow and there are also opportunities for adapting traditional food processes like fermentation to enhance the bioactive properties of FPH and to use them in products that consumers already know. Low-salt fish sauce and fish flavors with tailor-made bioactive properties are likely the future. Sufficient scientific evidence must be produced if companies are to produce and sell products with health claims. Private companies, universities and other research organizations can work together on special hydrolysates or peptides but the cost might be too high for small companies, so a global collaboration may be needed in the interests of fisheries, fish processing industries and consumers worldwide.

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