Undeland Lab

​Our overall aim is to add value to underutilized marine raw materials (fish, shellfish, algae) by stabilizing and/or isolating valuable lipids, proteins and antioxidants. Marine lipids are mostly known for their high content of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA, or “omega-3”) which have been demonstrated to prevent e.g. cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, LC n-3 PUFA are very prone to oxidation which results in loss of nutritional value and so called “rancidity”. We therefore develop new strategies to protect the marine lipids against oxidation. When it comes to marine proteins, these generally have a high level of essential amino acids, high bioavailability and excellent technical functionality, which makes them a strong player in the ongoing protein shift. It is however important to think beyond the classic fish fillet when considering marine proteins. We develop protein isolates and ingredients from e.g. seafood byproducts and seaweed to stimulate a sustainable use of our marine resources.

Our research group participates in several projects on lipid oxidation in fish on national and EU basis. Important research questions are for instance how compositional differences caused by geography, season, processing method or specific tissue part affect lipid oxidation in marine raw materials. Other projects address how natural antioxidants from algae or terrestrial plants can prevent the development of lipid oxidation in fish or protein isolates thereof. Another major focus area are fish hemoglobins, which are key catalysts for lipid oxidation in fish. We are currently investigating new strategies for hemoglobin-removal during the early steps of the fish processing chain. Further, we focus on oxidation of marine lipids during the gastrointestinal (GI) passage. In vitro, we have seen that reactive aldehydes can develop from both fish oils and fish during gastric and intestinal conditions. This could affect the beneficial effects of LC n-3 PUFA, something which is investigated in an intestinal cell model.

On the marine protein side, we have several projects addressing how these can be isolated from complex raw materials like whole fish, fish by-products or algae, using the so called ”pH-shift method”. Protein extracts are then characterized on a molecular level, but also out from their technical functionality (gelation, emulsification etc.), nutritional profile and bioavailability. We also focus on recovery of proteins from seafood process waters, and a series of different concentrating methods are here evaluated. As above, the recovered proteins are investigated out from molecular, nutritional and technical aspects. Many of these projects are carried out in close collaboration with industry.

Staff:
Professor Ingrid Undeland
Researcher Mehdi Abdollahi
Researcher Bita Forghani
Post Doc Haizhou Wu
PhD-student Hanna Harrysson
PhD-student Mursalin Sajib
PhD-student Semhar Ghirmai
PhD-student Jingnan Zhang
PhD-student Joao Trigo
PhD-student James Hinchcliffe (shared with Gothenburg University)

Technical staff:
Dr Karin Larsson
Dr Rikard Fristedt

Published: Thu 13 Jun 2019.