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In Russia, developed a cocktail of jellyfish


The drink has the usual taste of fruit juice, but is enriched with antioxidants.
Russian and Japanese scientists have developed a way to create a food additive from jellyfish, which consists of essential amino acids. A cocktail of jellyfish proteins and citrus concentrate has, in addition, antiradical and antioxidant activity.

The oceans, life in which is much more abundant than on land, is considered to be a huge source of raw materials for creating food. It contains about three-quarters of all animals and half the plants of the globe. The biological resources of the ocean give about 25% of human protein consumed. Underwater flora and fauna is an inexhaustible, especially in perspective, pantry of medicines, which often have no analogues among medicinal plants on land. Unfortunately, the species composition and assortment of fish products, other seafood, not only does not increase, but rather decreases, which is associated with a clear excess of the catch of marine inhabitants over their natural reproduction. According to the scientists, the mass uncontrolled catch on the shelf of aquatic organisms sharply undermines their numbers, the restoration of which takes 20-25 years.

Marine invertebrates - scyphoid jellyfish - have long attracted people as a source of food. Several types of jellyfish in Southeast Asia, mainly in China and Japan, are part of the multimillion-dollar seafood business and are valued not only for its texture and taste, but also for its composition that provides low calorie in low-fat, cholesterol diets and healthy jellyfish biopolymers. It should be emphasized that as a source of raw materials jellyfish have great potential. These invertebrates experience large seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations, which are characterized by sudden outbreaks of numbers, known as “blooms”, and years accompanied by periods of decline in the numbers of jellyfish. The number of jellyfish over the past few decades, mainly in the southern seas, has increased rapidly, and this is a sign of the deteriorating health of the marine ecosystem of the planet.

Although jellyfish are a prominent component of the marine ecosystem, from an anthropocentric point of view, outbreaks of the increase in the number of jellyfish are perceived poorly, since, as reasonably seems, they threaten human health and coastal tourism. It is also important that jellyfish affect fisheries due to the reduction of fish stocks due to competition in eating plankton or direct predation of fish fry. And there is evidence that the growth of jellyfish biomass can damage coastal industries due to clogged cooling piping. In recent years, the total global catch of jellyfish has exceeded 500 thousand tons. The most active fishing for jellyfish exists in the countries of Southeast Asia, although in small quantities they are also harvested in Australia, the USA, some countries in Europe, Africa and South America.

In the cuisines of Asian peoples, jellyfish are used quite widely. In China, they have been salted for over a thousand years using alum or dried (as a result, a semi-finished product is obtained in the form of thin plates). Jellyfish are present in Japanese sushi recipes. In Thailand, they make noodles. In 2006, during the mass appearance of large jellyfish off the coast of Japan, of them cooked soups, used as a component of stuffing mixture of flour products. The technology of cooking jellyfish has a thousand-year history. It is very complex and involves a multi-day process of pre-salting fresh jellyfish, treating them with alum, disinfecting and pressing. Low-calorie jellyfish meat, contains almost no fat, is rich in mineral salts and protein. Chinese traditional medicine recommends it as a remedy for hypertension, bronchitis, arthritis, and according to the latest data, for cancer. Preparations containing processed jellyfish bodies are used to treat infertility, obesity, baldness and gray hair.

The jellyfish is 96–97% water, which suggests a comparison with land vegetables such as cucumbers, which are 95% water. Cucumbers have more vitamins, and jellyfish are a rich source of iron and selenium. The jellyfish umbrella is rich in protein collagen, which when heated above 40 ° C turns into gelatin - thus, the jellyfish can be a rich source of gelatin. However, the use of gelatin in food and as a biomaterial in industry is limited due to its poor solubility and weak gel strength. Studies have shown that enzymatic hydrolysis changes the properties of gelatin without changing its total amino acid composition. Gelatin peptides contain mainly hydrophobic amino acids and have good emulsifying ability. It is established that collagen peptides have high antioxidant properties.

Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), based on the known properties of jellyfish proteins, used frozen jellyfish entirely without prior complex processing. It is known that insoluble connective tissue proteins of jellyfish are represented mainly by the collagen-like protein elastin and some collagen. Proteolytic enzymes of the human body can act on elastin and collagen, causing its decay by no more than 60%. In connection with the specificity of the tissue of the invertebrates studied, enzymatic hydrolysis of the jellyfish species Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye and Aurelia aurita was carried out, the purpose of which was to obtain an acceptable organoleptic product for the complex use of valuable non-traditional raw materials in food biotechnology.

According to the developers, jellyfish such as ropillema and aurelia are traditionally used in food technology among the peoples of East Asia. It lives off the coast of China, Korea and Japan, but appears in the waters of Primorye only during the warm season. The collection of raw materials for experiments and creating a mixture was made by biotechnologists in October off the coastal shores of Peter the Great Bay, where the jellyfish roopilem falls with currents from the East China Sea. Under favorable conditions, the catches are higher and make up to 2 thousand tons and more. It is a heat-loving species, it does not form permanent populations in local waters, therefore jellyfish can be removed completely in the first half of the autumn period.

Scientists have developed a dry mix for the preparation of a drink from marine animals and citrus. The main ingredients of the exotic cocktail were dry supplement from fermentolizats of Pacific jellyfish ropilla or aurelia and lemon or orange extract. The concentrate diluted in water has a habitual appearance and taste of fruit juice, but has a high content of amino sugars, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and is endowed with antioxidant properties.

“We get an additive from jellyfish by treating its tissues with the help of the enzyme that breaks down proteins, chymotrypsin. The protein fermentolisate was purified and subjected to ultrafiltration to remove salts, then concentrated and dried using freeze drying. From 1 kg of jellyfish, 1.8 g of powder is obtained; in the dry mix, the additive from jellyfish is from 7% to 15%, and in the drink itself - 1.5–3%. The rest of the mixture is occupied by citrus supplements, the sweetener is ground sugar and flavoring. The energy value of one drink (200 ml) is about 80 kilocalories, ”clarified one of the authors, Alexander Yuferov.

During hydrolysis by the proteolytic enzymes of high-molecular jellyfish proteins, they are disintegrated, and as a result, the proteins pass into a water-soluble state. Under the action of chymotrypsin, along with low molecular weight polypeptides, much larger fragments are formed. The molecular mass of these fragments is 85–120 kDa. The significant content of proline and hydroxyproline in protein hydrolysates indicates the belonging of the polypeptides obtained to collagens. It should be noted that other proteolytic enzymes, such as trypsin, collagenase, which are produced on an industrial scale, can be used to cleave jellyfish proteins.

Biotechnologists say that the new product has several advantages. The additive from jellyfish contains amino sugars that perform specific functions in the body, being part of the mucous substances, vitreous of the eye, synovial fluid of the joints, regulate blood clotting. Jellyfish hydrolysates contain all essential amino acids, i.e. essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized in a particular organism, in particular in the human body. Therefore, their intake with food is vital.

"In the course of research, we found that when the components of the animal (additive from jellyfish) and plant (citrus extract) are used together) their antiradical and antioxidant activity is ten times higher than the action of these components separately and is equal to the activity of ascorbic acid," According to the authors, is an important advantage of this development.

The invention has been tested and tested by FEFU students, the inventors have issued several patents. In the future, enzyme jellyfish hydrolysates can be used in other important functional foods. The blessing of raw materials for their receiving suffices!

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