Biochemistry & Nutrition



The Biochemistry & Nutrition Division of ICAR-CIFT focuses its research activities with a broad vision on Marine Bioprospecting. Starting from developing a strong database on nutritional and contaminant profiling of marine resources, the division has extended its research on different arenas such as development and validation of green extraction techniques for obtaining high value marine bioactives and their detailed structural elucidation by employing high end analytical techniques. The Division is also having well equipped facilities for carrying out in-vitro and in-vivo bioactivity studies of the commercially significant marine bioactives. Further, the division has already been into development of dietary supplements for the aquaculture sectors to improve the nutritional security. Research activities carried out at the division was instrumental in development and commercialization of several value added marine products of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical significance. Several consultancies and Training programmes are being organized from the division to cater the needs of a wider domain.

Major Areas of Research

  • Nutrient and Contaminant profiling of fish and fishery products.
  • Extraction, characterization and establishing bioactivity of Marine biomolecules
  • Biomedical applications of commercially important biomolecules viz collagen, collagen peptide, squid peptide, proteoglycans, n-3 PUFA, fish oil, liver oil, fish proteins and peptides, chitosan derivatives, vitamins from marine sources.
  • Bioprospecting of Seaweeds – Novel Frontiers
  • Development of nutraceutical and functional foods of marine origin.
  • Designing innovative dietary aquafeed supplements
  • Antinutritional factors of aquafeed ingredients – Non-Destructive Method Development

Major Research Findings

  • Development of a seaweed NutraDrink: Based on a novel solvent free extraction of sulphated polysaccharide and phenolics from seaweed, a nutraceutical drink (NutraDrink) was developed. A macroporous adsorbent resin was used to selectively remove the compounds responsible for seaweed off-smell.
  • Iron-Calcium-Fortified-Fish Soup Powder (FSP) was developed with the objective of addressing micronutrient malnutrition with special reference to improving iron levels in vulnerable population. Intervention among adolescent girls of West Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya using fortified FSP showed promising trends in blood hemoglobin levels.
  • Microencapsulation of thiamine and pyridoxine Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6 were encapsulated with vanillic acid grafted chitosan and subsequently spray dried. The wall material was synthesized following optimized protocol, starting with 20 g of chitosan and 20 g of vanillic acid to obtain microparticles of encapsulated thiamine and pyridoxine. Dietary supplementation of Thiamine -pyridoxine-vanillic acid-grafted chitosan is an effective means to prevent cardiovascular disease.
  •  Development of a co-delivery system of Betalain and PUFA: Multiple emulsification and microencapsulation followed by spray drying was adopted to prepare stable PUFA. Microencapsulation is one of the promising methods that can minimize oxidative deterioration of ω-3 oils by converting into a stable free-flowing powder.
  • A stable fish oil powder was developed using emulsion and encapsulation technology. Cardioprotective effect of encapsulated fish oil powder was  established in cardiomyoblast cell lines.
  • Microencapsulation of squalene with maltodextrin and whey protein isolate gave an encapsulation efficiency of 96% and oxidative stability of more than four months.
  • Supercritical fluid extraction of Fucoxanthin and lipid from brown seaweed Sargassum sp. Fucoxanthin content in the extract was determined by HPLC and found to be 1.5 mg/g of the extract. The extract was also found to be rich in different saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Since fucoxanthin and seaweed lipids are known to possess bioactivities, the extract could potentially be used as nutraceutical supplement.
  • Extracted, purified and characterized proteoglycans from E. brucus. Cytotoxic effect of proteoglycans from E. brucus against He La (Breast cancer) cell lines was elucidated.
  • High pure acid soluble collagen (ASC) with potential anti-ulcer property has been extracted and purified from the airbladder of the fish Pangasiushypophthalmus. The purified collagen was found to belong to type I collagen, comprising of two different α chains (α1 and α2).
  • A nano delivery system of fucoxanthin was developed using vanillic acid grafted chitosan by ionic gelation method. Upscaling of Fucoxanthin production was carried out in 5 L extraction vessel in SFE unit.  Yield - ~2.3% was recorded which was similar to the optimized lab scale experiment
  • Low molecular weight carboxymethylated ulvan oligosaccharides was developed and proven to be a promising source of natural antioxidants
  • Hydrogel based delivery system was developed for seaweed antioxidants
  • Seaweed based biochar was developed for bioremediation process with a yield of 50-55% with better absorbent property
  • A lower cellulose to isopropanol ratio and monochloroacetic acid concentration can favour the production of carboxy methyl cellulose of high water absorption ability and better yield
  • Liquid seaweed extract prepared from Sargassum wightii was evaluated for its potential as a foliar spray. The auxin, cytokinin and giberallin content in the liquid seaweed extract were 8.5 μg/g, 3.0 μg/g and 2.2 μg/g respectively
  • A non-destructive method was developed for the estimation of phytic acid from aqua feed and feed ingredient using Fourier Transform Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
  • The black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) were evaluated for the bioconversion efficiency using different waste biomass
  • Dietary supplementation of cuttlefish protein hydrolysate (CFPH) at 10 to 20% level in tilapia fingerlings improved immune response against bacterial resistance, enhanced survival and thermal tolerance.
  • A method was developed for stable liposomes for simultaneous delivery of squalene and natural antioxidants
  • Eco-friendly approach for the production of chitooligosaccharide from shrimp shell waste was developed 
  • A methodology developed for the production of squid paste 

General Facilities

  • Animal House Facility

The Division is having well-established CPCSEA approved animal house facility to evaluate nutritional significance of marine bio-molecules and to evaluate bioactivity of biomolecule from fish, fishery waste and seaweed

  • Wet lab facility for fish culture


  • Gas Chromatography: FID, GCMS, LC -HR MS
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): PDA
  • Preparative HPLC
  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)
  • Flame photometer
  • ELISA Reader and Western Blotting Unit
  • Supercritical Fluid Extraction Unit
  • Spectrophotometer
  • Refrigerated Centrifuge
  • Electrophoresis apparatus and gel imaging system
  • Iatroscan

Analytical Services

The Division undertakes analytical services of the samples from fish processing and allied industries and issues certificates.

  • Proximate composition of seafood
  • Amino acid profiling of fish & fishery products
  • Fatty acid composition
  • Minerals, Trace elements, Heavy metals and chemical contaminants profiling in fish and water
  • NABL accreditation for organochlorine pesticides and antibiotic residues


  • Consultancies with respect to biochemical analyses.
  • Nutrition and chemical contaminant profiling of fish and fishery products.
  • Setting up of testing laboratories.


Sl. No:

Technology Name

Technology Transferred to


Technology of Fish protein powder

Technology transferred to Aracia Pvt Ltd


ZAFORA-360 Enriched Fucoidan Capsules

M/s Bodina Naturals



M/s Bodina Naturals


ZAFORA Seaweed Hand Sanitizer

M/s Bodina Naturals


All rights reserved © Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT)