Currently, the fishery and aquaculture industry are generating a plethora of fish by-products, which are either used for low value commodities, or simply disposed of. With advancements in technology, these industries have substantial potential to reduce the generation of byproducts, while also expanding the scope of usage of such byproducts for meeting the needs of human consumption.

Fish byproducts also contain high protein content similar to that of the edible meat, and processing such items for alternation and recovery of proteins is sustainable and economically feasible. This is especially true with the adoption of enzyme technologies, which potentially allow the development of a wide range of food ingredients, with a very wide range of end use applications and product offerings.

Solubilization and enzymatic proteolysis from a range of sources has been extensively studied. The use of proteolytic enzyme variants allow for a greater degree of control in the hydrolytic process. Of the commonly used enzymes, alcalase has gained popularity with a higher rate of success in the production of fish protein hydrolysate. The demand for fish protein hydrolysate is expected to remain high in the near future, as they gain recognition as effective bioactives, which increases the scope of application as diet supplements and functional foods.

Other popular options include a protease – peptidase complex called flavorzyme, which is developed by the fermentation of a strain of fungi, which has been proven to be successful in protein hydrolysis processes under either acidic or neutral and acidic conditions. In addition, fish protein hydrolysate is touted for its positive influence on gastrointestinal absorption and composition of amino acids.

In addition, fish protein hydrolysate also finds greater scope of use in the production of fertilizers, animal feed, and nutraceuticals.

Food Applications Driven by Hydrolysate Properties

Fish protein hydrolysate has displayed substantial potential of application in the fields of pharmaceuticals and nutrition, on the basis of the hydrolysate properties, which define the quality for use in food ingredients, on the basis of how it will affect processing procedures, and the attributes of the final product.

The process of hydrolysis under specific conditions can be used to improve the functional characteristics of proteins. A large portion of fresh fish harvests are filleted, and leftover parts such as fins, frame, small bones, dark muscle, scales, cut offs, skin, and viscera are commonly used for protein hydrolysis.

For the hydrolysis process, such fish waste is normally stored in polyethylene bags at warm temperatures. This material is further thawed at room temperature along with a mix of distillate water, following which the hydrolysis process is carried out in a temperature controlled water bath.

Before packaging, fish protein hydrolysate is commonly freeze dried, which allows for superior preservability and easier logistical operations. In addition, solubility is considered to be one of the more important of FPH functional properties of fish protein hydrolysate, as it is very important in the production of food items such as gels, emulsions, and foams.

Foaming and Emulsification Properties are Key for Adoption

Fish protein hydrolysate have been developed to have better stabilization with a greater value on the emulsifying activity index. The value increases or decreases depending on the use of fish protein hydrolysate at various concentrations.

Fish protein hydrolysates have been found to have superior surface action, while also promoting oil in water types of emulsions, on the basis of hydrophobic and hydrophilic functional groups. The stability and ability of foam derived from fish protein hydrolysate has been observed to be higher with higher levels of hydrolysate.

Consequently, the study displays that fish waste is a good source for protein hydrolysates for higher foaming abilities.

Health Promotion from Fish Peptides

Peptides that have been extracted from fish protein hydrolysate have displayed a number of biological activity with immunomodulatory, antihypertensive, antithrombotic, and anti-oxidative results. Currently, the health care industry is displaying greater interest in identifying natural antioxidants, with the oxidation of biomolecules for antioxidant and radical scavenger characteristics.

Fish protein hydrolysate derived from fish is increasingly being viewed as a superior source of protein, with great solubility, foaming properties, protein concentrations, and emulsifying properties. In addition, fish protein hydrolysates have also been used to develop peptides with anti-microbial properties, which have been proven to be especially effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria, through biological, physical and chemical processes.

Fish protein hydrolysate have also displayed anti-platelet and anti-coagulant properties under test conditions, working by antagonizing the platelet membrane of glycoprotein integrin to minimize platelet aggregation. Further, research on materials from fish such as blue whiting, salmon, plaice, and cod has displayed success in inhibiting against human breast cancer cells, and also helped in inducing apoptosis in lymphoma cells for a variety of tumor cell lines.

In addition, peptides from fish protein hydrolysate has displayed capabilities in terms of calcium absorption and metabolism. It has also been found to help in cutting down the number of osteoclasts, which helps in the treatment of ailments such as Paget’s disease and osteoporosis.

Future Prospects of Enzyme Technologies in Fish Protein Hydrolysate Industry

Wide ranging research has revealed that fish protein hydrolysate have substantial nutritional properties, which can be used in the food industry for a number of end use applications, particularly in the food industry such as stabilization, texturing, surimi production, gelling, flavor enhancers, foaming, protein supplements, and emulsification.

Enzyme hydrolysis has been found to be more efficient in comparison to chemical hydrolysis. In a bid to improve functional characteristics of proteins, manufacturers have extensively made use of hydrolysis in the substrate. This results in lower moisture content, minimal lipid content, and better protein concentrations.

Such changes help in better antioxidative activity, capability to scavenge lipid radicals, and also cutting down the levels of protein solubility, and risks of rancidity, while bolstering flavor enhancements, and bioactive peptides. These results suggest that fish protein hydrolysates that are produced using endogenous enzymes generate additives for industrial and food applications, which will sustain demand for the foreseeable future.