Project - Iodecline
Process technique development for iodine reduction in seaweed
The technical University of Denmark (DTU), The Food Institute, is leading the research project 'IODECLINE', which is to develop process technologies to reduce the extremely high iodine content in sugar kelp and winged kelp extracts. Analytical methods are being developed to differentiate between the different chemical forms of iodine, thereby gaining knowledge of and testing the technologies needed to reduce the amount of iodine. After reduction, extracts or juices will be evaluated and finally the process is scaled up in the companies.
The project is funded by “Karl Pedersens and Wife’s industrial Fund”.
The overall aim is to characterize and reduce the iodine content of seaweed products, by technology development for the products to comply with the legislation and therefore increase the product portfolio of seaweed producers and facilitate their market entrance. Partial aims of the project are to:
- Develop an analytical method to identify the different chemical forms of iodine (i.e. iodine speciation).
- Test different technologies for iodine reduction in seaweed and seaweed extracts.
- Evaluate the quality of the iodine-reduced seaweed extract (and solid biomass) with regards to degree of iodine reduction and potential loss of other beneficial compounds such as minerals as well as the bioactives and high value polysaccharides such as fucoidan and laminarin.
- Upscale the optimized process at companies.
- Investigate possibilities for patenting of the candidate technology.
Production of extracts or juices from seaweed already extremely high in iodine will further concentrate the water-soluble compounds. The high iodine concentration is a Worldwide problem that has until now not been solved. State of the art are experiments performed by trial and error using blanching or lukewarm water, which all reduce iodine, but also reduce other beneficial compounds/effect. Companies have met a barrier of legislation/regulation in e.g. EU and US. We will approach this iodine challenge by research of the iodine speciation, setting up a method giving fundamental knowledge of the chemical forms of the iodine (e.g. iodide, iodate or organo-iodine) in order to approach the reduction of iodine. We will keep a systematic approach to the commercial systems already applied at the company facilities in order to ensure subsequent implementation at industrial level.