Seaweed—The Superfood On The Rise

Monday, January 6th, 2020 | 2154 Views

Seaweed is making waves with its growing popularity as consumers are increasingly aware of its health benefits. Additionally, it offers plant-based, clean label and sustainable benefits for food products. This humble ingredient is being included in snacks, jerky, pasta and even edible food wrappers. According to Grand View Research, the global commercial seaweed market size was valued at USD 11.1 billion in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.9 percent from 2018 to 2024.

Nutritional benefits include supporting cognitive health, the nervous system and healthy skin, energy and metabolism, and normal child development, according to Food Ingredients First. Craig Rose, managing director of Seaweed & Co., noted that it is a great ingredient for children’s snacks and provides a critical mineral for vegans—iodine. Studies have also shown that seaweed extract can combat cancer cells and deliver anti-cancer effects.

Seaweed is extremely versatile in its applications. For example, Seaweed & Co. has developed a smoked variety of seaweed which is included in mayonnaise, infused oils and products used with fish to give a smoky flavour. Besides utilising seaweed as a flavour enhancer or salt replacement, seaweed can also be used as thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers and gelling agents. When broken down into extracts or isolates, it can perform a number of clean label functions in food formulation.

The Asia Pacific regional market is driven by growing product applications in food, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, personal care products, and gels. Furthermore, the rising use of this ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisines and regulations aimed at safeguarding the environment will drive the global seaweed market.


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