On 7 December 2020, Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has named Prof. Dr. Soottawat Benjakul from PSU’s Faculty of Agro-Industry as one of three Lead Researchers of 2020. Out of 21 research proposals submitted, the NSTDA committee has unanimously resolved to support the three researchers by awarding grants of 20 million baht per project over a five-year period to build a medical and food research network.
Dr. Soottawat explained that his winning project, titled “Turning aquatic animal processing byproducts into a functional food ingredient/nutraceutical and a new type of food additive”, is based on scientific evidence and knowledge in various fields; the extraction and development of active ingredients, research on the mechanism of action of substances, monitoring using proteomics techniques, and research on the digestive systems of humans and laboratory animals are all combined together to create a systematically stable and safe nutritional substance and food additive.
Dr. Soottawat noted that at present there is a continued increase in waste materials as a result of successful farm management, along with an increased demand for aquatic animal products. Therefore, converting low-value residual materials into marketable and high-value products is a key guideline for the aquaculture processing industry to increase revenue. At the same time, it can reduce the cost of waste treatment.
The NSTDA has been supporting Thai researchers with high potential since 2009, to foster the progress of science and technology in the nation.