Crabs. (Photo: Conapesca)
Waste crustaceans become calcium derivatives
Monday, April 07, 2014, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the University of Sonora intends to use calcium from crustacean waste - shrimp, crab, lobster and squid, through its conversion into calcium lactate.
This compound is a salt of high value that has multiple applications in the food industry and pharmaceuticals.
In the case of the food industry, the calcium lactate is used as a preservative to prevent fungi and yeasts from growing. It is also used to improve the texture of some fruit and as an additive in some foods without sugar to remineralize teeth and prevent its fall.
In the pharmaceutical sector, it is used to make dietary calcium supplements.
Biology Dr. Maribel Plascencia Jatomea, in charge of the project, explains that crustacean wastes consist mainly of proteins, chitin, carotenoid pigments, lipids and calcium.
Calcium salts (chlorides, carbonates, acetates) are obtained from acid demineralization treatments, which are required for extraction and purification of chitin.
According to the data published by the agency ID, samples of shell crab collected by a company were used in crustacean processing plants located in Navojoa (Sonora) and sugar beet farmed in the Yaqui Valley, in the southern state.
The material was obtained through the fermentation method. Instead of using traditional chemical agents, microorganisms that naturally produce organic acids which purify and maintain crustacean wastes to obtain chitin, protein and calcium salts were used.
While this project is in the laboratory stage, experts expect this technology to be of interest to producers of Sonora, which is a major state producing shrimp, as it could add more value to its business.
It is estimated that the organic waste from processing shrimp reach 30 per cent -35 per cent in weight, exceeding 75 per cent-80 per cent in the case of the crab, the ID note adds.
This initiative was funded by CONACYT-Sonora State Government Joint Fund, and had the collaboration of Jaime Lizardi Mendoza, of the Centre for Food Research and Development (CIAD) of Hermosillo.
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member SAGARPA - Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentacion