This is a Master of Science in Human Nutrition Thesis by Joseph Christopher Gigliotti. It was submitted to the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences at West Virginia University where professor Jacek Jaczynski, PhD. has done a significant contribution to the understanding of South Antarctic krill and its applications in human nutrition.
It is a 2007 thesis and quite valid as the krill industry is looking beyond standard whole frozen and dried meal end products, and one step ahead from krill oils.
The thesis addresses the determination of the nutritional value, protein quality and safety of Krill Protein Concentrate.
Despite its abundance and nutritional value, krill has not been widely utilized for human consumption due to the lack of proper technology for protein recovery. The study objectives were to isolate krill protein concentrate (KPC) and to determine the nutritional value, health benefits, and safety of KPC for human consumption. Proximate analysis indicated KPC on a dry basis is composed of ~ 78% protein and ~ 8% fat of which ~27% are omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs). The amino acid composition of KPC indicated that all nine essential amino acids were present in amounts that met the requirements for adult humans assuming sufficient protein was consumed.
In regards to bioavailability, KPC was equal to that of casein in digestibility, protein digestibility corrected for amino acid score and protein efficiency ratio. In terms of safety, there were no differences in the absolute weights of the major organs except for the kidneys. Kidney weights and total mineral content were higher in rats fed the casein compared to the KPC diet. Based on the nutritional and safety analysis, KPC appears to be a promising high quality protein source for human consumption with the advantage of being a rich source of ω-3 PUFAs.
See full thesis at Quality and Safety of Krill Protein Concentrate