We are aiming to develop a method for sequential extraction of bioactive molecules from rockweed to ensure the maximum utilization of the seaweed.

Last update

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Start

10. Apr 2023

End

31. Dec 2025

Funded by

The Research Council of Norway

Cooperation

Polar Algae, NIBIO, Marbio/UiT

Project Manager(s):

Marte Jenssen

Rockweed constitutes a significant renewable resource along the coast that is currently not utilised to its full potential.  In this project we will investigate if it is possible to extract valuable components from this plant.

Sub-goals

  • Method development: environmentally friendly extraction of valuable chemical components. 
  • Upscaling of extraction and purification methods. 
  • Measurement of bioactivity in the extracted samples. 
  • Testing of residual biomass and extracts for use as soil improvement agents and to stimulate plant growth and cultivate more robust plants. 
  • Coordination, evaluation, communication and dissemination of our findings.

What we are doing

Nofima’s role in the project is to develop the extraction methods. 

Fucoidan is found in both the fibres of the cell walls and intracellularly, while polyphenols are often found in small intracellular vesicles. In order to release these molecules, the cells must be opened and the rigid fibers in the seaweed dissolved. 

Fresh seaweed will be ground up before undergoing pretreatment with pulsed electric fields (PEF), ultrasonicator, and/or enzymes in the laboratory. 

Fucoidan, polyphenols and alginate will then be extracted sequentially from the various pretreated solutions. The methods developed in the laboratory will then be tested at the test plant at Biotep. During the testing process at Biotep, samples will be taken to evaluate the composition of the extracted materials.