Marine Animal Co-Products-How Improving Their Use as Rich Sources of Health-Promoting Lipids Can Foster Sustainability

Mar Drugs. 2024 Jan 30;22(2):73. doi: 10.3390/md22020073.


Marine lipids are recognized for their-health promoting features, mainly for being the primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and are therefore critical for human nutrition in an age when the global supply for these nutrients is experiencing an unprecedent pressure due to an ever-increasing demand. The seafood industry originates a considerable yield of co-products worldwide that, while already explored for other purposes, remain mostly undervalued as sustainable sources of healthy lipids, often being explored for low-value oil production. These co-products are especially appealing as lipid sources since, besides the well-known nutritional upside of marine animal fat, which is particularly rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, they also have interesting bioactive properties, which may garner them further interest, not only as food, but also for other high-end applications. Besides the added value that these co-products may represent as valuable lipid sources, there is also the obvious ecological upside of reducing seafood industry waste. In this sense, repurposing these bioresources will contribute to a more sustainable use of marine animal food, reducing the strain on already heavily depleted seafood stocks. Therefore, untapping the potential of marine animal co-products as valuable lipid sources aligns with both health and environmental goals by guaranteeing additional sources of healthy lipids and promoting more eco-conscious practices.

PMID:38393044 | PMC:PMC10890326 | DOI:10.3390/md22020073