The EnRichMar project concluded not so long ago. The project is quite interesting as it has applications for improved public health within Europe and casts a light on how we can improve the nutritional content of food by adding healthy ingredients from underutilised marine based raw material.
EnRichMar is a EU FP7 SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) project with the main objective to increase the value of convenience food by adding functional ingredients, produced from underutilised marine based raw materials and by-products from fish processing, with confirmed bioavailability. The focus was placed on the ingredients omega-3 oil and powder and seaweed extracts which may enhance positive health effects and stability and enhance flavour to meet market demand.
The project has created new business opportunities within and outside the EnRichMar consortium. The functional ingredient SMEs are steps closer and entering in lucrative new markets for the bioactive ingredients in different food systems and extend their previous product range of bioactive products due to foreseen launch of enriched convenience foods developed within EnRichMar. The SMEs have obtained valuable marketing information about functional foods and consumer views on functional foods in important markets and have developed enriched food prototypes based on information collect about the main target groups of interest. Further, they have now first-hand information about physiological effects of consuming the enriched foods. Integral to the project was the development, for each SME, of a new higher value business model for the future, that will impact positively their financial performance.
Interestingly, the EnRichMar project has two precursors. First, an Icelandic version, funded by the Icelandic AVS-fund, and then a Nordic version, funded by Norden, Nordic Innovation. Both these projects relied on cooperation with SME´s and with each additional project, more partners took part, making these three project on enrichment with marine based raw materials an essential platform for cooperation, innovation and further development within this field.
For more information on the outcome of the EnRichMar project with quotes from the project’s participants, please look at the EnRichMar one pager.
The increased value of the raw materials as well as the targeted products will contribute to more variety of healthy convenience foods and may therefore contribute to improved public health. The results are also relevant to the European fishing and marine resource industry in general because of the increased value of side streams and underutilised marine based resources.
For additional information, please contact dr. Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir or visit Matís’ project website.