Mak-Pak Scale-Up is short for “Industrial implementation of a production process for a sustainable packaging concept made from macroalgae for the food sector” and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The goal is to scale-up and optimize the production of seaweeds that have the potential to be used to create sustainable, bio-degradable, and/or edible macroalgae-based packaging material for the food industry.
With this project, different strains of seaweed will be put to the test, to try to understand what the most productive conditions are for their development in large-scale land-based, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Specifically, what are the best environmental conditions for growth, and what are the best strains to be used for packaging in the food industry. First, different strains will be screened for robustness and fast growth. The chosen strain will then be used for scaling-up production. Additionally, different environmental conditions will be tested for optimizing the functionality of the seaweed for packaging (e.g. antioxidant activity). Finally, selective breeding experiments will be done with different strains to understand if their adaptations to different environmental conditions can add value to some of those specimens. In collaboration with our agricultural partner, the improvement of the land-based culture facilities and experiments with RAS will be done as well, since having a well-structured facility and the best technology on our side will be the base for the success of this project.