Opportunities for the development of marine ingredients for functional food markets

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Patterson, Simon
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University College Cork
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While the seafood sector annually contributes €1.09 Billion to the Irish economy, an estimated 70% of the seafood sector's export value is attributed to bulk commodities. With critical quotas diminishing and a dependence on a high volume, low-value business models that may no longer be sustainable, this research explored the opportunities to reduce commodity trading of seafood, develop value-added opportunities, and discover functional ingredients opportunities for utilising the considerable biomass of Irish marine material available in Ireland. This research employed a mixed methodology of 26 in-depth expert interviews that aimed to understand how the Irish seafood industry can add value through a functional marine ingredients strategy and 401 consumer surveys that aimed to uncover consumers' perspectives of marine-based functional foods. Results from in-depth interviews indicate that the Irish seafood sector is disjointed and underdeveloped; however, the raw material to produce functional marine ingredients can be found in the Atlantic mackerel species and guides towards development can be found in the Irish dairy industry and international seafood leaders. Consumer-oriented product development was seen as a key finding from these guides. Results of the consumer survey show that functional marine ingredient products that are savoury tasting, in a food format, are available for purchase in a supermarket setting, targeting health needs, such as brain and heart health and are positioned to be consumed around the evening meal, would be most successful on the market. This research provides valuable new insights focused on developing the Irish seafood industry through a functional ingredient strategy and consumer attitudes towards emerging functional marine ingredient products, providing practical implications for the seafood industry and aiding food marketers in understanding consumer behaviour.
Seafood , Functional food , Consumer behaviour
Patterson, S. 2021. Opportunities for the development of marine ingredients for functional food markets. MSc Thesis, University College Cork.
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