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Alaria Project

Duration 41 months
Funding Body BIM, European Maritime & Fisheries Fund
Project Costs €297k
Project Co-ordinator BMRS
Number of Partners 1

The aim of the project is to investigate, the structural and functional characterisation of novel macroalgal-derived phlorotannin, carotenoids (fucoxanthin) and polysaccharides (fucan) from Alaria esculenta cultivated on near-shore long-lines in Bantry Bay, Co. Cork, providing further insight into the structure and antimicrobial/antioxidant activity of the compounds. These compounds have the potential to enhance both human and animal nutrition and general well-being.

The principal premise is that long-line macroalgal cultivation coupled with characterisation analysis will allow for the identification and quantification of these bioactive for reproducible use in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and veterinary products.

BMRS has cultivated 11 long-lines in the 2017/2018 season and has deployed the lines for the 2018/2019 season. Extraction and characterisation of fucoxanthin and phlorotannins has been carried out. Antioxidant activities of both these compounds has also been completed.

Update April 2020

seaweed harvestingSeaweed harvesting in Bantry BayresearcherThe researcher, Silvia Blanco, extracting polysaccharides from Alaria esculenta.

 

Update March 2020

Seaweed harvesting on March 26.

Seaweed being lifted from the boatSeaweed being lifted from the boat

Researchers filling the bins with seaweed from the seaweed farmResearchers filling the bins with seaweed from the seaweed farm

Researchers from BMRS after the first seaweed harvesting on March 26Researchers from BMRS after the first seaweed harvesting on March 26

 

Alaria esculenta’s sporophylls observed on the seaweed farmAlaria esculenta’s sporophylls observed on the seaweed farm

Mature sporophylls taken from the seaweed farmMature sporophylls taken from the seaweed farm

 

High-value bio-active compounds

Precipitation of polysaccharides from Alaria esculenta’s samplesPrecipitation of polysaccharides from Alaria esculenta’s samplesBantry Marine Research Station has developed a new protocol to extract polysaccharides from Alaria esculenta. The findings will provide more insight into the seasonal variability of a sulphated polysaccharide, fucans, and its ability to improve nutrition for both humans and animals.

 

Update February 2020

Intern holding a small individual of Alaria esculenta The intern Kora Uellendahl holding a small individual of Alaria esculenta in Bantry Marine Research Station seaweed farm.

Alaria esculenta sporophylls Alaria esculenta sporophylls

Alaria esculenta sporophylls Alaria esculenta sporophylls

 

Update January 2020

We have deployed long-lines of Alaria esculenta last October and November. Since then, they have experienced a spectacular development, with individuals between 1.5 and 2 m in length.

alaria jan2020 update1alaria jan2020 update2alaria jan2020 update3 

At the same time, we are testing the antioxidant activity of the seaweed extracts at Bantry Marine Research Station facilities