The project is designed to address a commercial opportunity to obtain bioactive compounds from seaweeds for application in food and health & wellness products. Although polyphenols from land plants are widely used as functional food ingredients and food supplements, seaweed sources have been little studied or exploited. The consortium comprises 4 SME partners Hebridean Seaweed, Marigot, Coressence and Mesosystem, and 3 RTD providers CyberColloids and Universities of Reading and Ulster. In the first stage of the project seaweed polyphenol extracts (SPEs) will be prepared. One of the SPEs will be produced at food grade quality from Ascophyllum. In addition, a series of novel polyphenol extracts from a range of seaweed types of relevance to the partner SMEs, will be prepared.
All the extracts will be characterised for their polyphenol content. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the food grade SPE will be assessed in a dietary intervention trial in human subjects. The end points will include prevention of oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes, and modulation of anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines in plasma. In addition a short-term dietary intervention in human volunteers will be conducted to assess bioavailability and metabolism of the component polyphenols in the extract.
Finally the novel SPEs will be investigated for anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant activity in vitro. The food grade SPE will be included as a comparator.