Huataukīna tō iwi e: Developing marine bioactives from kina

Kina. © Matt Miller, Cawthron Institute

We are working collaboratively with hapū in Tairāwhiti to develop bioactives from kina. Bioactives can treat diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions.

Project leader: Matthew Miller, Cawthron Institute

Duration: July 2017 – June 2019 
Budget: $300,000 
Status: Completed

Aotearoa New Zealand already has a reputation in Asian markets for high-quality, sustainable and safe food products. Kina is challenging to export to Asia as a high-value food product, but there is potential to export kina bioactives as a health supplement. Our research is focused on the potential use of the non-edible shell rather than the edible flesh. It is also examining how to reduce waste by using the shell, offal, spines and roe of the kina. 

We aim to stimulate economic development in the Tairāwhiti region by developing high-value nutraceutical and functional food ingredient products from kina (Evechinus chloroticus) sourced from the marine areas of East Coast whānau.  

We have harvested kina during different seasons and are testing three key extracts (pigment 1, pigment 2 and a bioactive oil). We have been working with local hapū to collect and analyse the results. Once we have collated our results across the four seasons, we will identify the most beneficial bioactives from pre-clinical trials and explore ways to scale-up their extraction.  

The phrase ‘huataukīna tō iwi e’ comes from the waiata ‘Hikurangi’ composed by Kuini Moeau Reedy, based on an old Ngāti Porou phrase that means: when the kaimoana is abundant and the hapū have strings of kina, whānau are prosperous and healthy. 

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