Extraction of omega-3 from invasive marine species using green technology

Project Details


There is an increasing demand for fish oil for human consumption and as constituents in fish feed due to the health beneficial effect of the long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Current supply of fish oil from traditional fish species cannot cover this demand in a sustainable manner. Extraction of oil from underutilized marine sources such as starfish and round goby will contribute to increased oil production in a sustainable way. Today, marine oil is extracted by wet rendering process using heat and separation. This method is old fashioned, energy demanding and not applicable for new raw materials such as starfish due to inefficient extraction of the oil fraction. Therefore, there is a need for new extraction technologies for this raw material. Supercritical CO2 (Sc-CO2) extraction with ethanol as a co-solvent seem promising for this purpose.
The aims of GrExOmega is to extract oil from new resources, underutilized invasive species, to cover the increasing demand of fish oil and to develop and optimize a method using Sc-CO2 for the extraction of oil from meal produced from starfish and round goby. For the starfish meal, the optimized extraction method will be developed to extract both the non-polar as triglycerides and the more polar lipids such as phospholipids. The feasibility and environmental sustainability of Sc-CO2 will be assessed and compared with the current methods. In addition, the quality and oxidative status of the extracted oil will be evaluated and be a guidance for the pre-treatment of the raw materials (drying process) and extraction conditions in the optimization process.
Effective start/end date01/01/202231/12/2024

Collaborative partners


  • Blue biomasses
  • Underutilized species
  • Starfish
  • Round goby
  • Supercritical CO2 extraction
  • Omega-3 fatty acids


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