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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST first to announce biological activity of partially hydrolyzed agar

  • HITS : 70761
  • Date : 2022-08-25
Photo 1. Gilvimarinus agaryliticus 바로보기 Photo 2. Hyaluronidase Inhibition Rate 바로보기

The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KOIST; Kim Woong-seo, president) presented research findings that partially hydrolyzed agar created by separating the agar-degrading enzyme from marine microorganisms that decompose agar inhibits the dismantling of hyaluronic acid, which is effective in skin moisturizing.


According to a paper* published in Marine Drugs, an international scientific journal in the field of marine medicine, by researcher Lee Young-deuk of the KIOST Jeju Research Institute, partial hydrolysis of agar dramatically inhibits hyaluronidase*, unlike fully hydrolyzed agar oligosaccharides. This study is particularly noteworthy in that it was the first to discover the efficacy of partially hydrolyzed agar.

* Marine Drugs, January 2022 Issue (Thesis title: A Novel Agarase, Gaa16B, Isolated from the Marine Bacterium Gilvimarinus agarilyticus JEA5, and the Moisturizing Effect of Its Partial Hydrolysis Products)

* Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that exists in the skin, eyes, and joints. As it decreases with aging, dry skin and fine wrinkles result. Hyaluronic acid is decomposed by an enzyme known as hyaluronidase. Inhibiting the activity of this enzyme can help maintain moisture in the skin, thereby working to prevent skin aging.


Up to now, agar has been used only as food through simple processing, and when fully hydrolyzed, its use requires a large amount of enzymes, making it too costly for industrial purposes.


However, the partially hydrolyzed agar revealed in this study has no restrictions on material processing due to its non-gelling property, unlike solid agar. Significantly, only a very small amount of enzyme is needed for stable production of partially hydrolyzed agar.


With the recent fostering of the marine bio industry as a new growth engine for the future, there is a growing movement to develop food, energy, industrial materials, and medical care using raw materials extracted from marine organisms as bio materials. In addition, active research is ongoing on the use of agar oligosaccharides* obtained by decomposing agar for food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, and efforts are under way to increase the efficiency of agar hydrolysis.

* Agar oligosaccharide is a sugar obtained from agar, which is extracted from seaweed such as Gelidium amansii, and has recently been known to help prevent obesity and diabetes.


In this regard, since 2015, researchers at the Jeju Marine Research Center of the KIOST Jeju Research Institute have isolated the Gilvimarinus agarilyticus JEA5 strain from seawater collected from seaweed habitats off the coast of Jeju to separate an agar-degrading enzyme with excellent activity. After acquiring mass production technology through genetic recombination, they transferred the technology to Lalai’ts, a KIOST research company, last year.


“Marine biological resources are a key driver for national growth. With the efficacy of partially hydrolyzed agar now proven, it is expected to be used as functional material in a variety of fields, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. We will continue to discover materials from marine biological resources and promote industrialization, including mass production and standardization,” said KIOST President Kim.


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Last Update : 2022-11-14