Success story : how to upcycle unusable fish roes

Upcyclink biorefinery

How do you add value to fish roes that are unusable as they are ? This is one of the recent projects that has been entrusted to Upcyclink.


The challenge of adding value to unusable  biomass

LVxxx (name confidential), is a professional supplier of fish and seafood, located in Latvia. Its product range includes: Atlantic salmon, Steelhead trout, Atlantic Cod, Pelagic species (Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, Northern Blue whiting), Ground fish (North Pacific Hake, Argentinean hake), cultivated Pangasius and Shrimps as well as various types of roes (farmed Salmon Roe, wild Salmon Roe and Trout roe).



Among its fish roes, the seafood player has eggs that cannot be used as they are because immature. It entrusts Upcyclink with the development of processes to give a commercial value to these byproducts.



The markets of well-being, beauty and human food are targeted. Indeed, these markets offer high added value and are relevant with the volumes of byproducts available. However, they require a strong traceability and strict specifications.

Development of new recovery processes

Upcyclink first developed and tested fractionation and stabilization processes for a fish roes sample provided by its customer in the laboratory.

The following technologies were used: grinding, enzymatic hydrolysis, centrifugation, drying.

Enzymatic hydrolysis is a green biorefinery technology that allows the production of hydrolysates with functional and biological properties following an appropriate study and selection of enzymes. It uses no solvents other than water and is very energy efficient.


The laboratory tests have resulted in the following products :


– Protein concentrate

– Lecithin rich in OMEGA3


Upcyclink byproducts biorefinery




Upcyclink biorefinery




These trials were continued on a semi-industrial scale in a technology hall in order to scale up the processes and confirm the transformation yields.


Upcyclink valorisation


semi-industrial scale trials


The result : value creation and yield optimization

For LVxxx, this project to develop new processes opens up the prospect of growth relays in high value-added markets from previously unexploited raw materials, and of green and profitable processes.


Upcyclink’s main challenge was to develop a green, zero waste biorefinery strategy compatible with cosmetic and nutraceutical specifications while ensuring economic and environmental benefits. The major challenge was to develop an enzymatic mixture capable of hydrolyzing roe walls, which are known to be very resistant, while preserving the intrinsic qualities of this matrix. It was then necessary to optimize the hydrolysis and to arrange the unitary steps of the process to maximize the yields.


Would you like to know more about our solutions or discuss the potential of your biomass with our experts? Do not hesitate to contact us !

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