As the world's population continues to grow, it's imperative that we find sustainable ways to produce healthy and nutritious food. Seaweed, a staple in many Japanese and Chinese households, is often overlooked in the Western Hemisphere. However, this bioactive ingredient has numerous benefits and uses beyond just food. Companies are now exploring seaweed as a material for packaging and other products. The advantages of seaweed are endless, making it a promising option for the future.
Seaweed is an under-exploited crop in the Western Hemisphere despite a pressing need for nutritious and abundant food sources. Agriculture, which has negatively affected the climate and contributed to environmental degradation, is unsustainable. Seaweed, on the other hand, is an offshore crop that does not require land to grow. This makes it a promising alternative that can provide resources for everyone around the globe. Seaweed is a crop grown in the sea, meaning it doesn't compete with agricultural land. Seaweed is an excellent crop due to its self-reliant nature and minimal need for additional care or nutrients. It's also an eco-friendly option with a smaller carbon footprint compared to other crops. With its numerous uses and sustainability, seaweed is a strong contender for feeding the world's population.
However, large-scale open farming would not be possible without the help of companies like Seaweed Solutions. This business cultivates and develops seaweed for food, feed, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, and other valuable products. Seaweed Solutions is a reliable seaweed cultivator and innovator.
Food and Ingredients
Seaweed is a versatile ingredient that can also add texture and structure to dishes. Hydrocolloids derived from seaweed are being used in various ways to make your meals extra delicious and healthy.
Many companies have now started to use seaweed to create all-natural food products to sell. OCEANIUM is a provider for these companies. Oceanium is a company that uses sustainably-sourced seaweed to create innovative, all-natural food products, nutraceutical products, and sustainable materials.
Seaweed is an exceptional crop option for people worldwide due to its numerous health benefits. This sea alga is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and nutrients that can hugely benefit one's health. Most sea algae have even more nutrients than those found on land. Seaweed is rich in potassium, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin K, calcium, and folate. Additionally, some edible seaweeds provide vital sources of vitamin D and B12, which are essential nutrients. These nutrients can be challenging to find in your average plants, making seaweed a significant player in the food and ingredients industry. Seaweed is a low-calorie and highly nutritious plant that provides an easy way to get nutrients.
Ocean's Balance is a company that offers a line of innovative seaweed products that are good for the environment and taste great. Ocean's Balance aims to make it simple for consumers to use seaweed as part of a healthy diet, as a cooking component, as a garnish for avocado toast, or straight from the bag.
Seaweed is a highly beneficial food source that provides numerous health benefits beyond just providing essential nutrients. Studies have shown that consuming seaweed can aid in protecting against asthma, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, aiding in cancer prevention, and supporting weight loss. The soluble fiber found in seaweed, specifically alginate, has been linked to reducing food intake and promoting feelings of fullness, leading to fewer calories consumed. Additionally, seaweed is a good source of protein, which can further aid in weight loss efforts. Surprisingly, seaweed can also promote heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. The health benefits of consuming seaweed are vast and have been shown to improve overall health significantly.
An Ingredient of the Past and Future...
Used as an ingredient and a food option isn't the only benefit of seaweed; it also has many practical uses.
Agar, a substance derived from red algae (Rhodophyta), is a widely used food thickener and jellying agent in the food industry. It is commonly used in products such as Danishes and smoothies to give them a thick and smooth texture. Agar has several advantages over other thickeners, including its ability to set at room temperature and hold up well under high temperatures. Additionally, agar is a natural product free of harmful chemicals in many synthetic thickeners. Agar is also a good source of fibre and has been shown to have several health benefits, including improving digestion and reducing inflammation.
Carrageenan is a natural food ingredient extracted from red algae (Rhodophyta). It is commonly used as a food additive to bind and thicken products. Carrageenan is used in various food products such as dairy, meat, and vegan alternatives. It is an effective binding agent that helps improve food products' texture and stability. Carrageenan is also used as a fat replacer in low-fat products. It has been a safe and natural ingredient used in food products for over 50 years.
Alginate extracted from brown algae (Phaeophyta) is a commonly used ingredient in various water-based products. It is a natural polysaccharide that can be extracted from the cell walls of brown algae. Alginate thickens and stabilizes ice cream, salad dressings, and toothpaste products. It is also used in the manufacturing of paper and textiles.
Seaweed is a versatile and sustainable material increasingly used in bio-plastic production. Bio-plastics are a type of plastic that is made from renewable resources, such as plants, rather than fossil fuels. Seaweed is ideal for bio-plastics because it is abundant, fast-growing, and does not require fertilizers or pesticides to grow. Seaweed-based bio-plastics can be used in various applications, including packaging, disposable cutlery, and even car parts. They are biodegradable and compostable, which means they break down naturally and do not contribute to the buildup of plastic waste in landfills and oceans.
Companies like LOLIWARE Inc. are devoted to helping our world slowly transition to complete bioplastic use. LOLIWARE is an award-winning materials tech company that uses seaweed to replace single-use plastics. Their mission is to create products designed to Disappear and advance the planet toward a plastic-free, decarbonized future. While many biobased alternatives are on the market, not all are equal in terms of environmental impact. Biodegradability and carbon footprint are critical factors to consider. Some options, like paper straws, have a higher carbon footprint than plastic, while others have falsely claimed their biodegradability. We need an alternative that is proven to be compostable, carbon negative, and scalable for a better future which is what companies like LOLIWARE are committed to working toward.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, seaweed-based bio-plastics also have other benefits. They are lightweight, strong, and flexible, making them ideal for use in a wide range of products. They can also be produced at a lower cost than traditional petroleum-based plastics, which makes them an attractive option for manufacturers.
Overall, seaweed-based bio-plastics are a promising alternative to traditional plastics. They offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to the problem of plastic waste while also providing various benefits for manufacturers and consumers alike. As more research is conducted into the potential uses of seaweed in bio-plastics and increasing use in food, we will likely see even more innovative applications of this versatile material in the future.
When all that is left in the world is cockroaches and decades of plastic, there will be seaweed. An ingredient that had stood the test of time yet organisations in the food and ingredients industry is still finding ways to innovate with this age-old sea plant. This isn't an article just about seaweed. This demonstrates the innovation present in our industry and just how committed the world is to producing sustainable technologies from even the most under-exploited sources.