Building the future by doing more together

HALOFOOD - Decoding lipid profile of saltmarsh halophytes for human consumption and livestock nutrition
Coordinator - Maria Elisabete Alves Maciel
Programme - Observatoire Hommes-Millieux International (OHMI)
Execution dates - 2016-05-01 - 2017-07-31 (15 Months)
Funding Entity - CNRS/INEE
Funding for CESAM - 5500 €
Total Funding - 5500 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro

Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon has one of the largest continuous saltmarshes in Europe, with species distribution following the marsh’s topography. Halophytes are salt tolerant plants holding great potential for different biotechnological applications. To our best knowledge, the lipid composition of autochthonous halophytes colonizing the estuaries and coastal lagoons of Portugal is still unrevealed. HALOFOOD proposal aims to integrate two of the topics proposed by OHM-Estarreja (2016): i) Evolution of the
Relations Between Society and Environment; and ii) Evolution of Biodiversity. Through an interdisciplinary approach and the involvement of the Marinhoa race breeders, the HALOFOOD team aims to decode the lipid profile of Ria de Aveiro saltmarsh halophytes for human consumption and livestock nutrition. Specifically, the goal is to determine the appropriate niche where they grow efficiently to produce good quality food and feed, as well as the best season to collect halophytes richer in bioactive compounds. To reach this goal, the project team, involving Biologists, Chemical Engineers, Biochemists and Pharmaceutical
Scientists, will screen Ria de Aveiro halophytes targeting Salicornia ramosissima (already used for human consumption) and Halimione portulacoides (with potential use for human consumption). In addition, the Baixo Vouga Lagunar area used for livestock production will be will screened for the main halophytes species consumed by the Marinhoa Race. We believe that this innovative approach, through the use of lipidomics, and the science based knowledge to be generated will be broadly disseminated and play a key role in the regional, national and international valorization of halophytes.

CESAM Funding: