The magic of seaweed
Seaweed offers so much potential, from food to health to biofuels and at Seaweed & Co. we see it as THE food of the future. Seaweed provides unparalleled nutrition, is sustainable and scalable to feed billions around the world. Did you know that just 1 teaspoon of seaweed can give you calcium equivalent to 60ml of whole milk, potassium equivalent to a 32g banana, iron equivalent to 120g of spinach and the equivalent iodine of 12 whole mackerel!
With over 10,000 different species of seaweed globally, seaweed has an incredibly impressive array of health and nutritional benefits, and there is a plethora of research on seaweed to replace salt in foods, add nutrition, benefit heart health, aid weight management, and have anti-diabetic, anti-viral and anti-cancer potential.
However, there is much more to do and so collaboration with universities and others to further research and understanding, and commercialise the outcomes is essential.
I am Dr Craig Rose of Seaweed and Co, a marine biologist, who after my PhD set up a marine consultancy company. I sold the business after 3 years to a larger consultancy company and then was part of the team that performed a management buyout.
Having then worked in consultancy for around 6 years, and having managed a large seaweed R&D project, I decided to move directly into the seaweed industry, focussing on food, health and nutrition markets. I worked with a few companies for a several years providing consultation to them on research, sales and marketing. I then set up Seaweed & Co. to advance the market, invest in production and further the innovation required.
Inspired by the sea
Seaweed itself inspired me to set up Seaweed & Co. as the vehicle to try and achieve some of the potential I’ve already mentioned. There are three of us working in the business directly, with a much wider team in the supply chain and our distribution network. We are looking to advance seaweed and seaweed based foods and ingredients to meet the opportunities the market presents.
We are based near Newcastle, North Shields, just a few minutes from both the Fish Quay on the River Tyne and the stunning beaches of Tynemouth.
Solving seaweed challenges
The main barriers to the industry growing are quality, consistent supply, and confidence in using seaweed. In response, we are securing and improving supply, and inspiring and educating people to have the confidence to use and eat seaweed.
Whilst much of the seaweed research is at the academic stage, Seaweed & Co. has in place a supply that is already delivering many benefits to the food and nutraceutical markets.
We are about to submit a Technology Inspired Feasibility Study with Newcastle University. We have also submitted an Innovation Voucher. I knew about Innovate UK having worked with companies before that have used its funding. Innovate UK is the ideal partner in helping fund commercially focussed research, and bringing together the right collaborations
Seaweed and blood sugar management
Seaweed & Co. is working on a proposal for seaweed and blood sugar management in close collaboration with partners such as Universities. We are also partnering on a project that is seeing the development of highly innovative cultivation of seaweed on land, in tanks with no requirement for seawater input.
Seaweed is the Future
As a company and individuals, Seaweed & Co. is passionate about developing the seaweed industry in the UK, to create skilled jobs, provide sustainable healthy foods to mainstream markets, and contribute to the conservation of the marine environment.
You can follow us on Twitter @innovateuk and see our YouTube channel here