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EU-backed macroalgae project really wants to prove the sceptics wrong: We try to make seaweed a staple of European diets

SeaMark represents the initial ever Horizon Europe project to be hosted by way of a Faroese company.

Led by seaweed cultivation firm Ocean Rainforest, the project is combining 25 multi-disciplinary partners from Europes public and private sectors. Participants are the Carlsberg Group, Algaia, Nofima, Wageningen University & Research, and Aarhus University.

The finish goal would be to scale up macroalgae cultivation and processing ways to develop 12 products for industry, demonstrating that the zero-carbon crop may be used in multiple industries with numerous socioeconomic and environmental benefits in comparison to terrestrial crops or petrochemicals.

Alongside market applications, the SeaMark project aims to quantify ecosystem services supplied by seaweed farmers. In doing this, it hopes to donate to a body of evidence justifying large-scale seaweed cultivation as a bioremediation tool and important element of a fresh circular economy.

‘Every new industry has sceptics’

In valorising seaweed, the project partners are set on proving the sceptics wrong. In accordance with Frederick Bruce, Project Consultant at SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth, that is adding to SeaMark, for just about any new industry you can find always critics.

Scale, cost, regulation, and carbon storage are common discussion points, and delivering certainty for investors may be the whole point of SeaMark, he told FoodNavigator.

The project provides the cold hard evidence that seaweed could be farmed competitively at scale, overcome regulatory hurdles and benefit the surroundings while meeting the requirements of multiple emerging bio-based industries from food to biomaterials.

In comparison to established feedstocks such as for example soy or petrochemicals both which Bruce stressed have an enormous head start’, not forgetting enormous environmental impacts seaweed is really a genuinely sustainable underdog’. And who doesnt love an underdog?

Making seaweed an eating plan staple

The 12 SeaMark products will target multiple industries, from food to packaging, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and feed.

Those highly relevant to the meals industry include dietary fibres for food formulation, fermented fibres for meat alternatives, green alginate for food texturization, in addition to mineral concentrates and proteins.

The choice protein market is one of the rapid growth sectors which SeaMark will utilize, Bruce told this publication.

Associated with that there surely is a growing demand from consumers to lessen the fraction of mass-produced animal protein in the diets in the context of food and nutrition security in addition to climate change.

Seaweed, he told us, supplies a smorgasbord of functional ingredients that may meet that demand while improving taste, health, nutrition, resource efficiency and carbon emissions.

The SeaMark project aims to substantiate these claims to create seaweed a staple of future European diets.

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