Quantitative proteomics and bioinformatics in seaweed food protein research: Evaluation of extraction methods, bioactive potential, and nutritional value.

Simon Gregersen Echers*, Betül Yesiltas, Pedro Jesús García Moreno, Alireza Naseri, Susan Løvstad Holdt, Charlotte Jacobsen, Egon Bech Hansen, Michael Toft Overgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


The red seaweed Eucheuma denticulatum (Spinosum) is central in the industrial hydrocolloid production. Despite a modest protein content compared to other seaweed species and other alternative protein sources, the enormous quantities of industrially processed Spinosum, makes protein-enriched side-streams a potential source of food protein and protein-derived food ingredients. While Spinosum may be part of the Green Transition going towards sustainable and zero waste, efficient protein extraction is challenging.

Here we demonstrate how quantitative proteomics by LC-MS/MS is a highly valuable tool for characterization and evaluation of protein extracts (Figure 1). In contrast to conventional protein characterization in food science, proteomics provides a deeper level of insight on the quantitative composition. By applying down-stream bioinformatic analysis, it is possible to predict subcellular localization of individual proteins. Such information was used to quantitatively evaluate efficiency and selectivity in different extraction methods, which is possible even in quite poorly characterized species like Spinosum. We evaluated several Spinosum extracts and found that pre-treatment with cell wall degrading enzymes resulted in higher protein content due to increased intracellular protein recovery compared to other extraction methods - without negative impact on yield nor quality of extracted carrageenan. Furthermore, using novel bioinformatic algorithms we predicted a multitude of peptides with emulsifying and antioxidant properties, embedded in abundantly extracted proteins. These functionalities were validated in vitro for many predicted peptides, increasing potential applicability and value. Finally, proteomics data were evaluated as a future replacement of conventional amino acid analysis for evaluating nutritional value.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date27 Sept 2021
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2021
Event10th Nordic Seaweed Conference: The next 10 years - from local to global - Kysthotellet, Grenaa, Denmark
Duration: 13 Oct 202114 Oct 2021


Conference10th Nordic Seaweed Conference
Internet address


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