Establishing high value kelp products from farmed kelp (FS038)

Aim:

This project aims to research and establish two new products that demonstrate profitable models for scaled up kelp farming, with a specific focus on high grade and desirable food stuffs, while optimising the nutritional profile.

Funding Amount:

£49,990

Duration of Project:

3 Months

Sea and kelp textures

Project Outcome:

Islander Kelp wished to explore the feasibility of optimising their products from a health and nutrition perspective, and how they could scale up in an area which was environmentally sensitive and exposed.

Key to the study was the absence of good information on the heavy metal, iodine and nutritional content of kelp, both raw and processed, despite extensive and positive public opinions on its nutritional value. 

The project demonstrated that Islander Kelp was below trace in inorganic arsenic, and organic arsenic. Controlled human intervention studies with health-related end points to elucidate prebiotic efficacy are important, and further research is needed into the macro and micro components of the seaweeds including fatty acids, protein, alginic acid fucoidan, laminarin and mannitol, polyphenols and minerals. 

How kelp is processed affects the heavy metal and nutritional profile, which in turn informs the product development and marketing options. More research is needed to understand how variation impacts on the attributes of the kelp products such as texture, tenderness, flavour and other food quality parameters. Kelp products still hold a very marginal place in the European health food world. To mainstream kelp food consumption, the production of popular, but high end, products continues to be the recommended strategy for Islander Kelp, using the nutritional information as a product development tool. 

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Islander Kelp Ltd.