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Seagriculture 2018

7th International Seaweed Conference

6-7 November, Galway, Ireland

Meet your conference speakers

Maria Hayes

Scientific Research Officer, Teagasc, IRL

"Dairy processing technologies and seaweeds – overcoming production challenges"

Dr Maria Hayes has an honours degree in Science (Industrial Microbiology and Chemistry) from University College Dublin (UCD) and a PhD in Microbiology and chemistry from University College Cork (UCC) the topic of which concerned the generation of antimicrobial and heart health beneficial peptides from dairy processing waste streams. Following her PhD, Maria worked with the Centre of Marine Biotechnology (CAMBIO), an Enterprise Ireland funded centre based in Donegal, Ireland. This work involved understanding, isolating and purifying chitinolytic bacteria from marine processing by-products specifically crab and prawn shell material and was carried out in conjunction with an industry partner.

In 2008, Maria joined Teagasc as the programme manager and full-time researcher on the Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative (NutraMara project). The aim of this project was to utilise marine resources for the recovery of valuable and healthy food ingredients with enhanced health benefits (functional foods). Maria works extensively on method development for the recovery of food ingredients and biomolecules from marine, dairy, plant and animal by-products or co-products generated during food processing. She has published over 90 academic papers, many of which concern the utilisation of marine resources including seaweed, by-products/co-products and rest raw materials of marine and meat processing and has collaborated with the main Irish Universities and Institutes of technology as well as with international partners including NIH in the US, the University of Nottingham UK and others. She is also a member of the European Chitin Society (EUCHIS) and the WG leader on EUALGAE and is a member of the EU COST actions imPARAS and EU ALGAE. Her research interests include utilisation of rest raw materials from marine processing and algal research for food and in particular generation strategies for bioactive peptides and bioactive peptide characterisation. She enjoys and maintains several industry collaborations within Ireland and internationally. She is currently the chief coordinator of several by-product utilisation projects in Ireland including BRAVO, FISHBOWL, MUSSELS and BRAVO 2 and one EU project (The IDEA project) which deals with development of economic viable algae-based value chains.


The potential nutritional and health benefits of seaweed derived ingredients are an area of current research and market interest globally. However, costs and challenges exist concerning utilisation of this natural resource. This presentation will detail the challenges associated with development of micro and macroalgal derived protein containing ingredients and will highlight potential stratgies for successful development of food and feed products. Accessibility to seaweed proteins is crucial to their commercial viability as are their technofunctional and bioactive or health attributes. The digestibility, amino acid composition, bioactive peptides derived from seaweed proteins and their associated health and technofunctional attributes are will also be discussed.


Up-scale of seaweed proteins, challenges, bioactive peptides, health and technofunctional activities