The main objectives of the SEAHEALTH project are to develop a new generation of algae antioxidant ingredient and functional foods and to demonstrate benefits for human health in prevention of atherosclerosis and cancer. Analyse consumer appreciation and sensory perception of these novel functional foods linked to the marketing investigation constitute important tasks of the project as socio-economic aspect and relevant gender specifications. It is intended to develop communication strategies in order to inform consumers about the health effects and specific benefits of algal ingredient products.
The SEAHEALTH project aims at studying the role of algal antioxidant substances as novel food ingredient 1) for cancer and atherosclerosis prevention, 2) for food quality enhancement. The objective is to develop optimised procedure at lab and pilot scale for extraction and isolation of antioxidant substances, to demonstrate the antioxidant potential of the extracts by in vitro and in vivo tests, to evaluate their role in cancer and atherosclerosis prevention as well as novel ingredient for food quality preservation. This project also aims at developing new food product and at setting up a strategy to improve acceptability of consumer for such extracts or food products
- To provide an optimised manufacturing protocol of antioxidant substances (carotenoids, polyphenols, tocopherols) contained in selected brown algae at both laboratory and pilot scale (details on algae pre-treatment, extraction/purification processing, packaging conditions to warranting antioxidant potential).
- To characterise the antioxidant substances in terms of structure, content, in order to improve knowledge about the diversity of antioxidant substances extracted from brown algae.
- To provide a detailed report on the in vitro antioxidant potential of the seaweed extracts
- To provide a detailed report on the extracts antioxidant activity by estimating safe and effective use levels (in vivo study on rats) and bioavailability (in vivo studies on animals and humans)
- To provide a documented report on the potential role of these antioxidant substances in preventing cancer and atherosclerosis diseases (in vitro and in vivo studies on animals) in order to get a better understanding of the structure/function relationships and identification of the principal components responsible for health beneficial effects.
- To evaluated usefulness of the extracts as antioxidant in food industry, by formulation of some functional foods (beverages, milk products and snacks).
- To study the effects of processing conditions, matrix composition and storage conditions on antioxidants availability and stability
- To improve consumer acceptance and preference for these novel functional foods by defining the best formulations in some beverages, milk products as yoghurts and snacks
- To provide details on the seaweed ingredients: features, potential applications, storage conditions, consumers' perception of comparative advantages over functional ingredients from other sources in order to speed up their acceptance by scientists, manufacturers and consumers and favour a rapid commercial exploitation of the results.
- To provide points to consider for an efficient exploitation and dissemination plan to facilitate communication between researchers from various background (nutrition technology, behavioural sciences eg psychology, sociology and marketing sciences), food industry, consumers and food distributors./li>
- To provide a strategic plan to promote employment and relationships between research world and industry with regard to the project results and the enormous potential of growing use of algal antioxidant additives in consumption of foods.
- To assure an efficient technical and financial coordination during the whole duration of the project in order to secure a successful outcome, while promoting the role of women scientists in European researches as coordinator or task leader.