Seaweeds are considered as excellent source of nutrients like essential amino acids, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. The bioactive compounds present in seaweeds have scientifically proven to possess health promoting properties like anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, dyslipidemia, bone-health, heart-health and mental-health benefits. ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin has been pursuing its high calibre research on seaweeds based bioactives and has developed and commercialized many aqua-nutraceuticals from seaweeds which are in line with the regulatory compliances to address the felt demand of the consumers and thus established its prominence in the nutraceuticals research domain in India. The nutraceuticals like FucoidanExt, FucoTeaExt, Seaweed NutriDrink, Seaweed Cookies, Seaweed Yoghurt, Seaweed Sanitizer are some of the promising seaweed based products developed by ICAR-CIFT have created tremendous impact in the sector and the institute is still striving hard in its research endeavour to realize the immense nutritional potential of seaweeds in right direction to translate the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the context of ushering in fruitful Blue Revolution.
Today (22 Dcember, 2020) amidst the presence of Mr. Boby Kizhakethara (Managing Director) of M/s Bodina Naturals Private Limited (BNPL), a Cochin based private company dealing with Ayurvedic products; Dr Ravishankar C.N., Director, ICAR-CIFT launched three seaweed based products developed by the institute and commercialized by M/s Bodina Naturals Private Limited (BNPL) in a Press Conference in Cochin. He accentuated the antiviral, nutritional, immune modulatory effect of these three products namely; ZAFORA Seaweed Hand Sanitizer, ZAFORA-360 Enriched Fucoidan Capsules and ZAFORA Gargle. The ZAFORA Seaweed Hand Sanitizer containing the major ingredients like Isopropyl alcohol, Seaweed extract Carrageenan and Aloe vera extract can be a suitable alternative in the market as an immediate hygienic control to contain the spread of corona infection. Similarly, ZAFORA-360 Enriched Fucoidan Capsules contains Fucoidan, a high value sulphated polysaccharide having wide health benefits which include anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties can be used as immune booster. Zafora Gargle is a homogenous blend of spices extracts, ayurvedic herbal extractives and Fucoidan from Seaweeds, flavoured with mint also proved to be very effective against covid as it possess antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Mr Boby Kizhakkethara, Managing Director of BNPL, in his deliberation emphasized the importance of seaweed for human health, which has been overlooked in our society. He proudly announced that M/s Bodina Naturals Private Limited (BNPL) is now entering into the manufacturing and trade of seaweed derivatives as one of its main activities in future, so that the health benefits from seaweed can be reaped by millions of people for better health and nutrition. He said that the CIFT developed seaweed based products inspired us to launch an online health gifting platform www.ayurgifts.com, where even more such seaweed and seafood based products will be available in the coming future.
The Head of Research and Development, BNPL, Dr Nair Ashwati Unnikrishnan, opines that most of the medicinal plants are known for their immune modulatory effect along with their systemic action. Combining the bioactive compounds from herbs and incorporating with bio-molecules of seaweed, can lead to development of new remedies of many lifestyle diseases.
A dedicated research team led by Dr. Suseela Mathew, Principal Scientist and Head, Biochemistry and Nutrition Division of ICAR - CIFT, comprising of Dr. Niladri Chatterjee, Dr. R Anandan, Dr. Vishnuvinayagam are instrumental for the development of four seaweed based products in collaboration with M/s Bodina Naturals Pvt Ltd. Dr Suseela Mathew highlighted the green chemistry principles used for extraction of bioactive sulphated polysaccharide Fucoidan from brown seaweed Sargassum, which resulted in a seaweed extract that was rich in fucoidan and micronutrients. The extract has been completely characterized using chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques. Fucoidan is a high value sulphated polysaccharide with known health benefits which include anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer activities with applications in nutraceuticals and cosmetic products. The programme was attended by the scientists of ICAR-CIFT and press and media personnel of various news agencies.