Production is expected to begin soon at Nofima’s facility with long term plans to build a factory of its own in Kårvikhamn, in north western Norway.
Marealis has access to 6000 tonnes of shrimp shells a year – enough raw material for more than 200 million daily doses of chitosan.
Its branded chitosan ingredient, Systolite, will be launched on the US market this year with plans to launch onto the European market in 2018, once it has achieved novel foods approval.
Similar products are already marketed in the EU and beyond by the likes of Belgian player KitoZyme although the source in that case is the Aspergillus niger fungus.
Chitosan has an article 13.1 general function EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) authorisation stating: "Chitosan contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels."
Marealis, Nofima and the University of Tromsø are conducting a large-scale trial focusing on the blood pressure-reducing effect of Systolite.
It is estimated 20-25% of Europeans and Americans take blood pressure medications.