Joint lab to develop marine bioproducts

Flinders University’s Centre of Marine Bioproducts Development at the College of Medicine and Public Health, has entered into a new R&D agreement with a major Chinese company to explore the booming opportunities presented by edible medicinal, functional foods.

The centre last week officially signed an agreement to collaborate on forming the Flinders-Tianzhirun Joint Laboratory for Edible Medicinal Functional Foods, which will focus on creating a series of medicine-as-food products that combine modern biotechnology with traditional Chinese medicine.

So-called functional foods contain ingredients that add more than just nutrition. They help in improving quality of life and improving the immune system for better overall health and wellbeing.

Using edible bioresources found in land and marine environments, the laboratory will initially create a series of health drinks that promote good gut bacteria.

The agreement will also develop a commercial pathway for functional food R&D, and build training and education pathways to progress these technologies.

Tianzhirun is a flagship hi-tech agribusiness featuring the cultivation, research, production, processing and sale of Chinese dates (Jujube), and functional food products.

The Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development at Flinders has advanced biotechnology, clean biorefinery technology, and a bioproducts research and development platform – with world-class expertise in the research and development of marine bioprocessing and bioproducts.

The visit by key officials from the Shanxi Tianzhirun Jujube Co last week comes as Flinders and its other research partners gear up for stage 2 of a bid to establish an extensive national and international Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Marine Bio-Products and Biotechnology.

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