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Marine amino acid- GABA for mood improvement

  • PostDate:2021-08-02

 In order to support the key policy of circular agriculture and enhance the added value of Eucheuma, the Fisheries Research Institute has decomposed the remaining Eucheuma algae from the production of carrageenan into a reusable matrix of lactic acid bacteria through multiple hydrolysis techniques to generate γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and then process its fermentation products into health food materials. It is expected that the use of such innovative technologies will diversify the use of seaweed and increase its utilization rate.

The Fisheries Research Institute has pointed out that Eucheuma is a common type of large seaweed in the waters of Taiwan. In addition to being a dish on the table, it is also the raw material for carrageenan, an important material for the production of skin care products and foods. A large amount of algae residue is generated in the process of producing carrageenan, which traditionally has been discarded and not reused. However, this algae residue still contains functional components such as polysaccharides, phenols or pigments, all of which are recyclable materials.

According to the Fisheries Research Institute, the product of Eucheuma algae residue produced using multiple hydrolysis technology after fermentation contains a variety of functional components in addition to lactic acid bacteria, such as GABA, algal polysaccharides, and cellulose. Among these, GABA is generally recognized as being able to relieve tension and promote better sleep. The GABA content produced by the technology developed by the Fisheries Research Institute can reach 5,400 mg/100 g, which is much higher than the 15 mg/100 g stated in the specifications and standards of Taiwan's excellent food certification items. Moreover, the fermented product also contains log 9.1 CFU/g of lactic acid bacteria colonies, with an adsorption rate in the intestine of 63.23%. It can be colonized in the intestine and become the dominant bacteria, and it has market competitiveness due to the higher adsorption rate than that of commercially available lactic acid bacteria powder (40.52%).

According to the Fisheries Research Institute, a survey conducted by the United Nations International Labor Organization indicated that depression is a common hidden danger for the employees of all workplaces in this century. The health index survey in 2019 showed that about 90% of the people in Taiwan are in a state of tension and stress. The fermented algae developed by the Institute’s innovative technology has made deep use of marine resources in response to the policy of sustainable resource development and products containing algae amino acid (GABA) have been developed, which can be used to relieve the tension and pressure brought about by fast-paced lifestyles and improve people’s moods.


Seafood Technology Division, Fisheries Research Institute, Council of Agriculture

Contact person: Researcher and Chief Hui-jun Tsai

Tel: (02)24622101#2601

Written by: Tsung-kai Yi

Figure 1. Dry sawtooth Eucheuma

Figure 1. Dry sawtooth Eucheuma

Figure 2. The remaining Eucheuma algae after hydrolysis

Figure 2. The remaining Eucheuma algae after hydrolysis