CCMAR develops research on the effects of Global Environmental Change on marine resources and novel Marine Products and Resources. Within these thematic lines, CCMAR’s researchers are investigating the processes that regulate marine plant production at different organizational levels—molecular, plant, community and ecosystem—as well as developing marine algae-based innovative feeds and functional foods. CCMAR is working on the development of micro- and macroalgae as innovative sustainable feedstocks for nutritionally balanced food and feed. For this purpose, their biochemical and nutritional characterization is under way in order to secure the functional food or functional feed status from regulatory authorities. The environmental triggers and the genetic and ecophysiological processes driving the biosynthesis of the valuable natural compounds are being investigated and broodstocks of target seaweed species for upscale production are being produced. Parallel to this, microalgae industrial production using wastewater and/or flue gas is being investigated as a way of decreasing production costs and contributing to CO2 mitigation. Moreover, the biology and organoleptic properties of halophytes for human consumption is also being studied through the evaluation of the most suitable cultivation conditions for the production of functional bioactive compounds by Salicornia and other halophytes. The organoleptic properties are being evaluated in collaboration with high-profile chefs (most of them with awarded Michelin stars) specialized in gourmet food, which has increased the social impacts and the visibility of the project.
Hence, in the SYSTEMIC project, CCMAR is involved in WP2 and 3, in tasks 2.3 (Novel foods based on new ingredients, materials, and processes), 3.1 (Food composition and new sources) and 3.2 (Bioavailability: food digestion and transport).