Market valorisation of sea urchin gonads through dietary modulation.
  • Resposible Luísa Maria Pinheiro Valente (PI)
  • Funding Entity DGPM (Fundo Azul)
  • Reference: FA_05_2017_015
  • Funding Total: 179.243,17 €; ICBAS: 90.231,00 €; CIIMAR: 29.056,08 €
  • Duration 06/09/2019-05/09/2021

Market valorisation of sea urchin gonads through dietary modulation.

Objectives and main results

                                                  Consortium: UP (ICBAS), CIIMAR, SENSETEST, Riasearch e ISS.

Sea urchin’s gonads are a highly appreciated gourmet product comparable to Caviar. Gonads market price mainly depends on aroma and colour, which are a reflection of animals’ diet. This project will promote the sustainable valorisation of sea urchin by a) improving gonads quality and marketability trough dietary modulation in captivity, aiming the regular production of high quality and prized gonads; b) adding value to sea urchin gonads applying new preservation and processing strategies for gonad upgrading, bearing in mind the preparation of new foodstuffs such as refrigerated, frozen and canned products, to better satisfy consumers' and markets’ demands; c) to promote the full valorisation of sea urchin under a circular economy approach, by converting sea urchin by-products into high-valued compounds, reducing environmental impact and increasing economic value.

Scientific Publications

Camacho C, Correia T, Teixeira B, Mendes R, Valente LMP, Pessoa MF, Nunes Ml, Gonçalves A. 2023. Nucleotides and free amino acids in sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus gonads: contributions for freshness and overall taste. Food Chemistry 404, 1234505.

Pagels F, Garrido I, Teixeira, Tavares TG, Costas B, Malcata FXR, Valente LMP, Guedes AC. 2023. Sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) gut biomass as a co-product with antioxidant and antibacterial potential to supplement aquafeeds. Aquatic Living Resources, 36:26.

Baião LF, Rocha F, Sá T, Oliveira A, Pintado M, Lima RC, Cunha LM, Valente LMP. 2022. Sensory profiling, liking and gonad composition of sea urchin gonads fed synthetic or natural sources of β-carotene enriched diets. Aquaculture 549, 737778.

Baião LF, Rocha C, Lima RC, Valente LMP, Cunha LM. 2022. Development of a Rate-All-That-Apply (RATA) ballot for sensory profiling of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) gonads. Food Research International

Baião LF, Moura AP, Rocha C, Valente LMP, Cunha LM. 2021. Dimensions for the valorisation of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) gonads production through the eyes of experienced chefs. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science 26, 100438.

Baião LF, Rocha C, Lima RC, Marques A, Valente LMP, Cunha LM. 2021. Sensory profiling, liking and acceptance of sea urchin gonads from the North Atlantic coast of Portugal, aiming future aquaculture applications. Food Research International 140: 109873.

Baião LF, Oliveira AS, Gonçalves A, Pinho PG, Valente LMP, Cunha LM. 2020. Analysis of volatile compounds in Paracentrotus lividus by HS-SPME/GS-MS and relation to its sensorial properties. LWT - Food Science and Technology 130, 109629.

Baião LF, Rocha F, Costa M, Sá T, Oliveira O, Maia MRG, Fonseca AJM, Pintado M, Valente LMP. 2019. Effect of protein and lipid levels in diets for adult sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck., 1816). Aquaculture 506: 127-138.

Rocha F, Baião LF, Moutinho S, Reis B, Oliveira A, Arenas F, Maia MRG, Fonseca AJM, Pintado M, Valente LMP. 2019. The effect of sex, season and gametogenic cycle on gonad yield, biochemical composition and quality traits of Paracentrotus lividus along the North Atlantic coast of Portugal. Scientific Reports 9: 2994.

Rocha F, Rocha AC, Baião LF, Gadelha J, Camacho C, Carvalho MI, Arenas F, Oliveira A, Maia MRG, Cabrita AR, Pintado M, Nunes MI, Almeida CM, Valente LMP. 2019. Seasonal effect in nutritional quality and safety of the wild sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus harvested in the European Atlantic shores. Food Chemistry 282: 84-94. 


Baião LF. 2021. Characterization of the sensory profile of sea urchin aiming at the selection of premium gonads. PhD thesis. University of Porto.


2021. Inventores: Valente LMP, Dias JP, Sá TIF, Garrido IIF, Baião LFI, Guedes AC, Costa MIS. 2021. Sea urchin feed, methods and uses thereof. Applicants: CIIMAR - Centro Interdisciplinar De Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do Porto, SPAROS, LDA., ISS ÍNCLITA SEAWEED SOLUTIONS, LDA. O Pedido Provisório de Patente (PAT) foi submetido no INPI a 12/02/2021. Nº 20211000005541 e publicado no Boletim da propriedade Industrial nº 158/2022 que será editado em 12008.2022.