ESTABLISHMENT OF A REFERENCE CENTRE SPECIALISED IN THE SEAFOOD PRODUCTS SECTOR AT THE CRBM

Rimouski, June 25, 2020 – Thanks to the support of the Quebec Ministry of Economy and
Innovation (MEI) through the program to support the development of strategic sectors and
niches of excellence, of the Consortium for Research and Innovations in Industrial Bioprocesses
of Quebec (CRIBIQ), the Quebec fishing industry association (AQIP) and the niche of excellence
ACCORD Resources Sciences et Technologies marines, the CRBM has started to preparation of
roadmap aimed at planning the implementation of a reference centre on the identity, safety,
traceability and quality of seafood products.

Food fraud a national concern – A recent Canada-wide study by CIRANO¹ demonstrates that food fraud is a growing plague in the
food industry and represents more than ever a current issue that affects all links of the food
chain, from producer to distributor. Regarding marine food products, their popularity with
Canadian consumers remains high. Over 900 species of fish and sea food, catch worldwide, are
sold in Canada. Canadian consumers have very little information about products origins, and in
some cases this information may even by inaccurate.

CRBM a major player in the seafood sector² – The CRBM is already active in the food sector, more precisely with seafood processing industry,
for several years now. Safety, security, quality and food traceability became a crucial concern
and the CRBM has the expertise and infrastructure required to meet company’s requests,
including development of analytical methods, unlawful inputs detection, as well as regulatory
support.
¹Tiré de: https://cirano.qc.ca/fr/sommaires/2018RP-21
²Tiré de: https://oceana.ca/fr/impacts-de-fraude-sur-les-fruits-de-mer

A reference centre to help companies in the promotion of high quality marine food products
on the market.
– Given its expertise and capabilities of its research infrastructure, the project aims to dedicate
the denomination of marine products reference centre related to identity, safety, traceability
and quality
to the CRBM. This reference centre will facilitate the identification of the different
marine species as well as their origin. It will also be possible for the CRBM to monitor usage of
prohibited substances such as antibiotics, adulterants or preservatives.
The companies who will benefit from the services of this reference center will mainly be
processors, importers, distributors and retailers or even restaurant chains. Furthermore, the
CRBM will present a new food certification to ensure support for the company until
commercialisation.

Citations

« Consumer safety is important. It is essential to support companies in the food sector by setting
up rigorous scientific tools, recognized and adapted to demonstrate the quality of their products
in compliance with the standards governing this market. »

Jennifer Morissette, Director – Analytical development and Regulatory Affairs

« The substitution of less valuable marine product is becoming commonplace around the world.
However, new technologies based on species identification at the level of their DNA, will change
the game, both in terms of substitution and traceability of these products sold to consumers. »

Amine Badri, Director – Science and innovation

« CRBM’s philosophy to work in close collaboration with private companies in order to meet
their specific needs place the centre as a world leader in marine biotechnologies sector. Our
goal is to leverage this leadership in order to promote various benefits like the development and
training of this field of specialized expertise, the preparation and dissemination of data and
results in collaboration with partners and especially positioning and support for the recognized
quality of Quebec marine food products on the market »

Guy Viel, Chief Executive Officer, CRBM

Highlights

CRBM
The CRBM’s mission, Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologie marines, is to support and
contribute to the growth of the marine biotechnologies sector through scientific research and
development, and industrial transfer activities, particularly in the life sciences sectors. The
CRBM is financially supported by Canada Economic Development (CED), by the Quebec Ministry
of Economy and Innovation (MEI) and by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
(MAPAQ).

MEI-PADS
PADS program supports the development of strategic sectors and niches of excellence, aims to
mobilize and coordinate companies and their economic partners of the Quebec Ministry of
Economy and Innovation (MEI) around common objectives and intervention modes to ensure
strategic sectors development and the implementation of ministerial guidelines.

CRIBIQ
The Consortium de recherche et innovations en bioprocédés industriels au Québec (CRIBIQ) is a
sectoral industrial research group orientated on the promotion and the support of Quebec
bioeconomy sectors innovative projects to ensure their realisation.

AQIP
Quebec fishing industry association, Association québécoise de l’industrie de la pêche (AQIP), is
a non-profit organisation, founded in June 1978 by seafood processing companies of Quebec’s
maritime regions. It undertakes their interests beside the authority concerned.

ACCORD-RSTM
The niche of excellence Ressources Sciences et Technologies marines, Créneau d’excellence
Ressources, sciences et technologies marines
, created by ACCORD (Action Concertée de
Coopération Régionale de Développement) positions Quebec regions as recognized leaders in
their specific industrial skills. The RSTM niche’s mission is to develop a brand image for maritime
Quebec that should ensure its presence nationally and internationally, in the fields of
aquaculture, capture and processing of marine products, marine biotechnology and technology.
As a collaborative network, the niche targets the development and the creation of businesses in
these different sectors of activity and sees in supporting their innovation projects. The niche is
deployed in the three regions of maritime Quebec, namely bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord and
Gaspésie-îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Guy Viel
CRBM Chief Executive Officer
Email : guy_viel@crbm-mbrc.com
Phone : 418-723-2726, extension 105

CRBM LAUNCHES NEW RESEARCH PROGRAM: FIGHTING CORONAVIRUS THROUGH MARINES MOLECULES

Rimouski, June 4th 2020 – Humanity is currently facing an unprecedented crisis that makes us aware of the extent to which viruses constitute a serious danger to human health and survival. Despite the marked development of antiviral drugs in recent decades, patients with viral infections, such as COVID-19, are severely affected by conventional treatments failure. This is mainly due to the appearance and reappearance of viruses that have acquired new genetic mutations that make them more resistant, more virulent and more deadly than their predecessors.

The question that must be asked now: “What if the remedy already existed in the sea?”

 
In fact, the marine environment forms a gigantic ecosystem with approximately 71% of the earth’s surface. According to the scientific director of the CRBM Mr. Amine Badri « this environment represents an enormous reservoir of microbial biodiversity potentially exploitable in the health and well-being sector. » In fact, a liter of seawater can contain up to 100 billion microorganisms (virus, prokaryotes, protists and metazoans) not counting those found in marine sediments and those living in symbiosis whit other organisms like sea sponges[1]. Thus, every drop of sea water in the ocean could well constitute a medicine cabinet full of future and hope[2]

Each year, 150 to 200 new compounds, including alkaloids, sesquiterpenes, polyketides, and polysaccharides are identified from marine organisms and microorganisms. In the last years, many scientific studies have demonstrated the enormous potential of marine bacteria, marine fungi and algae as a promising source for developing new antiviral against various important viruses, including herpes simplex viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and influenza viruses[3],[4].

“It is therefore more urgent than ever to increase research in the marine biotechnology sector in order to discover new molecules that will allow humanity to face this kind of danger that awaits us all”. And it is for this reason that the CRBM is launching a new research project linked to the marine molecules potential “, concluded Mr. Badri. 

This research program includes two components. The first part aims the development of biomolecular tools necessary for SRAS-CoV-2 detection in all environments. Regarding the second part, it covers the marine molecules virucidal potential against different strains of coronavirus.

It is important to note that all of these research activities will be performed at the CRBM, in an accredited environment, under a biosafety licence NC2 and good manufacturing practices (GMP) governed by pharmaceutical license issued by Health Canada. As Ms. Jennifer Morissette, Director of Regulatory, Compliance and Analytical Services points out, “the activities will be carried out by a team with rich scientific expertise and in-depth knowledge of standard procedures applications.  This will lead to the recognition of the scientific results linked to the new active molecules, which will be subject to the procedures approval. “

The first phase activities of this applied research program started in May 2020, and will continue until 2021.

Highlights

CRBM

The CRBM’s mission is to support and contribute to the growth of the marine biotechnology sector through scientific research and development and industrial transfer activities, particularly for the life sciences sectors.

The CRBM is financially supported by Canada Economic Development (CED), by the Quebec Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI) and by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ).

Guy Viel

CRBM Chief Executive Officer

Mail : guy_viel@crbm-mbrc.com

Phone : 418 723 2726, poste 105


[1] Le projet Oceanomics. http://www.oceanomics.eu/fr/le-projet/le-projet-oceanomics

[2] Raphaël Lami, 2013. Voyage au centre d’une goutte d’eau. Espèces N°10.

[3] Moghadamtousi S.Z. et al. (2015). Potential Antiviral Agents from Marine Fungi: An Overview.  Marine Drugs, 13, 4520-4538.

[4]  Ahmadi A. et al, (2015). Antiviral Potential of Algae Polysaccharides Isolated from Marine Sources: A Review. BioMed Research International.