Because consumers are increasingly conscious of the relationship between diet and health, the consumption of marine-based foods has been growing continuously. Consumers identify seafood as nutritious, complete foods that are an excellent source of high-quality proteins and valuable lipids with high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). These compounds are well known to enhance human health, namely by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary disease, and hypertension. Additionally, marine-based food products are easily digested and constitute an excellent source of essential minerals. To further strengthen its healthy connotation, seafood has recently been recognized as a functional food and a source

of nutraceuticals. Functional foods, fi rst identifi ed in Japan in 1980, are defi ned as foods demonstrating a benefi cial effect on one or more targeted functions of the human organism (Ross 2000). Marine-based functional foods, or nutraceuticals, include omega-3 fatty acids, chitin and chitosan, fi sh protein hydrolysates, algal constituents, carotenoids, antioxidants, fi sh bone, shark cartilage, and taurine (Kadam and Prabhasankar 2010).