Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Human Nutrition and Foods

Committee Chair

Janet C. L. Tou.


Despite its abundance and nutritional value, krill has not been widely utilized for human consumption due to the lack of proper technology for protein recovery. The study objectives were to isolate krill protein concentrate (KPC) and to determine the nutritional value, health benefits, and safety of KPC for human consumption. Proximate analysis indicated KPC on a dry basis is composed of ∼78% protein and ∼8% fat of which ∼27% are omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (o-3 PUFAs). The amino acid composition of KPC indicated that all nine essential amino acids were present in amounts that met the requirements for adult humans assuming sufficient protein was consumed. Protein quality measurements were determined by feeding KPC or casein diets to growing female rats. In regards to bioavailability, KPC was equal to that of casein in digestibility, protein digestibility corrected for amino acid score (PDCAAS), and protein efficiency ratio (PER). In terms of safety, there were no differences in the absolute weights of the major organs except for the kidneys. Kidney weights and total mineral content were higher ( P<0.001) in rats fed the casein compared to the KPC diet. Based on the nutritional and safety analysis, KPC appears to be a promising high quality protein source for human consumption with the advantage of being a rich source of o-3 PUFAs.