Teagasc Food Research Centre
Maria is a chemist and microbiologist based at Teagasc. She has an honours BSc degree in science (Industrial Microbiology and Chemistry) from UCD, a PhD in protein chemistry from UCC and a diploma in business management and leadership from the Institute of Managers Ireland. Research interest include by-product utilization, extraction and characterization of health and functional ingredients from foods (marine, dairy, meat) and novel extraction, bioassay, processing and characterization methods as well as the development of ingredients for the prevention of diseases related to metabolic syndrome. She has edited a book published by Springer, New York in 2012 and contributes regularly to scientific “popular science” articles. She has also authored over 70 scientific publications. She is the Irish MC member of EU COST actions EUALGAE and imPARAS which look at utilization of microalgae for high value products and allergenicity of novel proteins, respectively. She has also worked at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg Sweden and NMBU, Ås, Oslo, Norway on marine research.
Recovery and Application of Pelagic Processing Blood Waters – A Source of Proteins and Bioactive Peptides
By-product or “waste” recovery is a key priority for pelagic and shellfish processors in light of the reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The greatest landings of pelagic species in Ireland are for mackerel (70,183t), horse mackerel (Scad) (55,438t), herring (42,114 t) and blue whiting (21,693t). Through the use of membrane technologies which can concentrate, fractionate and purify compounds, valuable proteins, peptides, lipids, vitamins and minerals can be recovered. Two new projects carried out at Teagasc and funded by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) called BRAVO and FISHBOWL are currently examining the recovery, quantity, and quality of proteins, peptides and other molecules from blood water and skin/bones that result from pelagic fish processing in Ireland. Proximate analysis results and amino acid quantities are reported along with methods used to stabilse and characterise the recovered protein fractions. Potential applications may include use in pet and animal feed products for enhanced pet health.