OPENZ is an initiative to optimize newly discovered enzymes for use in the Norwegian marine sector. Norway has the potential to be leading in sustainable value-creation based on marine resources. The fishing industry generates about 900 000 tons of by-products, such as heads, frames, viscera, blood and trimmings which is mainly used in the manufacturing of animal feed, oil and fish silage, or discarded. As the by-products contain high-quality proteins, they have a great potential as high-value products for human consumption. The few commercial enzymes (proteases) used in refineries to convert the fish biomass to peptides and amino acids are, however, not ideal. Cost-effective commercial enzymes give a product with bitter taste and sub-optimal yields, which are technical and biological barriers for the commercial realization of higher value products. The specific way in which the proteases break down the fish proteins, influence the size and properties of the peptides, and hence the taste of the product. Exploration of a larger enzyme catalogue with different specificities is an attractive route to overcome these barriers. OPENZ will expand this catalogue and supply new, tailored and innovative enzyme solutions to marine ingredient producers, albeit not limited to this sector. The enzymes will be optimized by engineering, immobilization and food-grade production to improve their performance on hydrolysis in a consortium of business developers and three marine-oriented research institutes.
OPENZ - Optimized enzymes for food applications
01.01.19 - 31.12.21