Protein Recovery from Underutilised Marine Bioresources for Product Development with Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical Bioactivities

Mar Drugs. 2020 Jul 27;18(8):391. doi: 10.3390/md18080391.


The global demand for dietary proteins and protein-derived products are projected to dramatically increase which cannot be met using traditional protein sources. Seafood processing by-products (SPBs) and microalgae are promising resources that can fill the demand gap for proteins and protein derivatives. Globally, 32 million tonnes of SPBs are estimated to be produced annually which represents an inexpensive resource for protein recovery while technical advantages in microalgal biomass production would yield secure protein supplies with minimal competition for arable land and freshwater resources. Moreover, these biomaterials are a rich source of proteins with high nutritional quality while protein hydrolysates and biopeptides derived from these marine proteins possess several useful bioactivities for commercial applications in multiple industries. Efficient utilisation of these marine biomaterials for protein recovery would not only supplement global demand and save natural bioresources but would also successfully address the financial and environmental burdens of biowaste, paving the way for greener production and a circular economy. This comprehensive review analyses the potential of using SPBs and microalgae for protein recovery and production critically assessing the feasibility of current and emerging technologies used for the process development. Nutritional quality, functionalities, and bioactivities of the extracted proteins and derived products together with their potential applications for commercial product development are also systematically summarised and discussed.

Keywords: biopeptides; enzymes; marine microalgae; marine proteins; nutraceutical and bioactive proteins; process and product development; seafood processing by-products.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Proteins / chemistry
  • Dietary Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food Handling
  • Humans
  • Industrial Waste*
  • Microalgae / metabolism*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Seafood*


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Industrial Waste
  • Proteins