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Marine ecosystem has abundance of living organisms and plays a vital role in our ecosystem and food-chain. Some food from marine source was consumed due to its nutritional benefits. In fish and seafood processing, the by-products which include heads, frames, fins, skin, shells and viscera were discarded. Selected by-products were used as fish meal and animal feed, while others treated as wastes resulting in environmental pollutions. These by-products and wastes however have potentials to be converted into beneficial functional food ingredients. In addition, functional food ingredients can produce value added food products as well as for human health benefits. Innovations such as the advancement of biotechnology and food processing methods are useful, whereby the by-products inherited with significant amount of protein-containing sequences of amino acids can be converted into functional bioactive protein hydrolysates for the health and food industries.
Keywords: Protein hydrolysate, Marine, Food waste, Bioactive component
Protein hydrolysates are usually prepared using enzyme reaction according to specific proteases at controlled pH and temperature. The important bioactivities of potential peptides produced and contribution of essential amino acids have been scientifically proven. Additionally, marine biodiversity can be useful to provide nutritional benefits and functional ingredients for food industries .
From the total global fisheries (wild capture fish and aquaculture), usually only 50-60% of total marine landing is used for direct human consumption and a vast proportion of discard was used for the production of high protein animal feed, fish meal and fertilizer . Fish protein hydrolysates (FPH) are prepared by digestion of fish meat with proteolytic enzymes and have been considered as an alternative approach for converting underutilized fish biomass into edible protein products .
Malaysia is well known in Asia Pacific as a producer of premium value-added seafood products, such as Abalones, Sea Cucumbers and Lobsters, for domestic and overseas market; exporting to East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe. In recent years, due to high demand of such seafood products worldwide, local resources have become scarce, and many of these items had to be outsourced from other countries in the Asia Pacific and others. Among the seafood items, Sea Cucumbers are one of those popular seafood products in the Chinese community, fetching with reasonable high pricing.
A current major issue with sea cucumber is the waste generated in the process, resulting up to 30-40% waste in the form of visceral organs, which might pose as environmental issue to the community, such as causing pollution and contamination, if not managed properly. Sea Cucumber internal Organs (SCiO) and washed water, containing soluble components usually were discarded as wastes in the industry; the wastes have considerable amount of nutritional components.
FUNCTIONAL COMPOUND FROM MARINE RESOURCES
Protein hydrolysate can have good functional properties and contribute to water holding, texture, gelling, whipping and emulsification properties when added to food. In addition to nutritional composition and depending on the amino acid sequence, they may be involved in various biological functions such as antioxidant, anti-hypertension, immunomodulatory, anti-thrombotic, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and antimicrobial activities .
In example, Cucumaria frondosa, also known as orange-footed sea cucumber, which belonged to the class of Holothuroidea, is rich in bioactive compounds, including saponin, phenolics, condroitin sulphate, collagen, amino acid, vitamins and minerals. These bioactive compounds exhibit numerous medicinal benefits and health functions, making the sea cucumber one of the important components in marine ecosystem .
Proximate analysis showed that sea cucumber internal organ (SCiO) consists of 81.5% moisture followed by protein (9.3%), fat (4.1%), ash (2.8%) and carbohydrate (2.3%) with no cholesterol detected. Dried SCiO showed high crude protein (50.27%) and fat (22.16%) contents. Utilization of sea cucumber by-product is beneficial not only to the environment but also can be profitable to the industry as it can be applied as a food ingredient, animal nutrition, nutraceutical or in cosmetic product and further benefits for health and well-being.
HEALTH BENEFITS FROM FUNCTIONAL PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE
Oxidative stress, on the other hand, occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. When there are more free radicals present than can be kept in balance by antioxidants, the free radicals can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body and can further lead to a vast number of diseases over time . Evidences show that oxidative stress can be responsible in the onset and/or progression of several diseases (i.e., cancer, diabetes, metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases) .
Antioxidants can reduce the ROS species by donating a hydrogen atom or electrons to radicals formed and reduce radical intermediates from the medium. The antioxidant-pro-oxidant balance in human body can change due to factors, such as fatigue, environmental pollutants, excessive caloric intake, and high fat diets and with the progression of age. In a long term progression, synthetic antioxidant may lead to toxicity in the body. Hence, protein hydrolysates with proven and promising antioxidant properties can be a replacement to the synthetic antioxidant to control various oxidative processes in the human [3,8].
Besides that, fermented food also had known for having several health benefits. Fermented foods have been generally consumed among the Asian people, especially Southeast Asian. During food fermentation, bioactive peptides can increase and enhances the biological properties of the food products [9,10]. Studies by Je et al.  have showed that fermented blue mussel sauce contained angiotensin converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitory bioactive peptides. In another study, antioxidant activity of fermented fish products has been investigated for various products such as blue mussel sauce , fermented fish muscle sauce , hydrolyzed and fermented minced mackerel . These studies demonstrated that the functional protein hydrolysates can be used to promote health benefits while exploring the diversity of marine resources and reduce food waste while promoting clean environment that is free from waste pollution .
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