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Transforming Fish Waste into Wealth: UNNE’s Pathbreaking Enzyme Extraction Research

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BNN Correspondents
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Transforming Fish Waste into Wealth: UNNE’s Pathbreaking Enzyme Extraction Research

In a pioneering move, researchers from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (UNNE) have revealed a novel extraction method that harnesses the potential of pacu fish waste. The study, aimed at exploring biotechnological applications and fostering a circular economy, transforms waste from the fishing and aquaculture industry into a valuable resource. This innovative approach not only mitigates the environmental risks of improper disposal but also leverages the industrial potential of enzymes found in fish waste.

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Pioneering Pacu: Enzymes Extracted from Waste

The study from UNNE focuses on the extraction and characterization of acid and alkaline extracts from pacu viscera, rich in enzymes akin to pepsin (EP) and trypsin (ET). These enzymes, prized for their hydrolytic capabilities on specific substrates, are integral to countless industrial processes. The extraction method, hailed by the study's lead author, Dr. Antonella Acevedo Gomez, for its simplicity and efficacy, does not necessitate enzyme purification.

Unlocking Industrial Potential

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Industrial applications of these enzymes are plentiful. Pepsin, for instance, can be used on a large scale to produce therapeutic products from antibodies, while trypsin can aid in the recovery of metallic silver and celluloid from X-ray plates. The study suggests that these enzyme extracts could be utilized in other processes requiring optimal activity at moderate temperatures and low sodium chloride concentrations. This opens up a myriad of possibilities for the industrial use of these enzymes.

Driving Technological Innovation with Fish Waste

This ground-breaking research could significantly catalyze the development of new technology-based industries in the region. By capitalizing on fish waste, a resource typically perceived as a loss or an environmental risk, UNNE researchers are carving out a pathway for the creation of added value. The study, published in the UNNE Veterinary Journal, is a collaborative effort involving FaCENA's Laboratory of Protein Research (LabInPro), the Group of Biological and Molecular Investigations (GIByM), and the IQUIBA (Conicet-UNNE). Puerto Las Palmas S.A. (Pacu Teko - PLP GROUP) also played a crucial role by providing the pacu viscera.

As the world grapples with the effects of climate change and resource scarcity, such innovative research projects offer a beacon of hope. With the potential to revolutionize both the fishing and aquaculture industry and various other industrial sectors, this study underscores the remarkable potential of biotechnological applications in contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy.

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