NSERC’s Awards Database
Award Details

A Bio-processing Strategy for Full utilization of Sea cucumbers for Production of High Value Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals

Research Details
Application Id: RGPIN-2015-06121
Competition Year: 2015 Fiscal Year: 2017-2018
Project Lead Name: Dave, Deepika Institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland
Department: Marine Institute - Marine Institute Province: Newfoundland and Labrador
Award Amount: $22,000 Installment: 3 - 5
Program: Discovery Grants Program - Individual Selection Committee: Materials and Chemical Engineering
Research Subject: Proteins and peptides, amino acids Area of Application: Commercial fisheries
Co-Researchers: No Co-Researcher Partners: No Partners
Award Summary

Sea cucumbers are found in both benthic areas and deep seas and have been used as a source of food and drug for decades. There are around 1500 sea cucumber species found in ocean forming 90% of total seabed biomass. They are used to treat cancer, arthritis and intestinal and urinal dysfunctions and can lead to increase in immune system. Sea cucumbers also possess a number of biological activities including anti-angiogenic, anticancer, anticoagulant, anti-hypertension, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antithrombotic, antitumor and wound healing properties. In Canada, commercial sea cucumber fisheries were initiated in 2003 with an allocation of 454 tons which increased to 2242 tons in 2013. The most common sea cucumber species found in Atlantic Canada is C. frondosa. Sea cucumbers comprise body wall, gonads, respiratory tract, flower and skin. Sea cucumber are composed of high value profile of vitamins and minerals. Sea cucumber also contains various essential high value nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals with various biological properties including: collagen, gelatin, protein, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, glycosoaminoglycans (GAGs), chondroitin sulfate (fucosylated), triterpene glycosides (saponin), sulfated triterpene glycosides, lectin, sulfated polysaccharides, sterols, phenols, flavonoids, triterpene oligoglycosides, glycoprotein, steroidal sapogenins and mucopolysaccharides. Limited scientific research has so far been carried out on various species of sea cucumber and not much research has been done on Atlantic species. The emerging fishery in Atlantic Canada is currently facing economic and environmental issues which necessitated the need for the development of bioprocessing strategy for the production of various high value nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals from sea cucumber to improve the sustainability of sea cucumber fisheries, economics of value added products and produce functional foods for specific applications. The proposed research will focus on implementation of bioprocessing strategy for full utilization of sea cucumbers for production of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. The work consists of (a) development of environmentally friendly processes for the extraction of high value products including: collagen, gelatin, chondroitin sulfate and phenols and flavonoids (b) determination of the quality of the extracted products and (c) evaluate the sustainability and economic potential of the sea cucumber bioprocessing strategy. Highly qualified personnel (graduate and undergraduate students) will be trained in the fields of functional foods, biotechnology, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.