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Research into seaweed

Incredible results found through research into seaweed involving Doctor Seaweed published in Algal Research Doctor Seaweed himself has discovered some eye-opening findings through research into seaweed, demonstrating that there’s always more to learn about this fascinating oceanic plant. The research into seaweed by Doctor Seaweed® and his peers – published in Algal Research – aimed to research the effects of reproductive sterility on the green seaweed Ulva rigida, in hopes of finding that reproductive sterility could help exploit the seaweed for commercial applications. This research into seaweed was inspired by findings from previous research into seaweed, many of which came across difficulties maintaining Ulva species in the vegetative state, as the formation and release of reproductive cells often stopped Ulva growth entirely and sometimes led to disintegration. These results were surprising for researchers, as the Ulva species is known for its high growth rates and tolerance of a variety of environments. It has been implemented into food, biofuel feedstock and plays a role in the delivery of wastewater and CO2 remediation services – and all of this has resulted in a high distribution of the species commercially. The use of Ulva commercially meant that it became vital to find robust strains of the species and find a way to exploit it effectively, and this was the precise aim of the research into seaweed published in Algal Research by Doctor Seaweed®. The method of this research into seaweed involved obtaining a sterile mutant of Ulva rigida by mutating a wild type strain of the same species, using ultraviolet radiation. The research into seaweed aimed to develop a sterile strain which...

Doctor Seaweed® discovers new benefits of seaweed used by Seaweed & Co.!

Innovations uncover new benefits of seaweed, including an improved release of nutrients and a more neutral flavour. Doctor Seaweed® teamed up with Newcastle University to discover new benefits of seaweed, by exploring a new micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient developed by Seaweed & Co. And their findings have certainly been making waves; being shared by big names like Nutrition First and the Nutraceutical Business Review. These results show that there seems to be even more new benefits of seaweed to be discovered! What new benefits of seaweed were discovered? The research undertaken in partnership with Newcastle University Medical School discovered new benefits of seaweed, namely that this specific micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient harvested by Seaweed & Co. can protect key nutrients during the stomach phase of digestion, and can result in a better release of nutrients in the small intestine – potentially leading to improved bioavailability and functionality. Micro-encapsulation is rarely used in seaweed ingredients, despite being a well-known process with many benefits. It was these benefits of protecting key nutrients which led Seaweed & Co. to team up with Newcastle University and test their seaweed powders. So what other results did they find? Well, this seaweed ingredient also produced reduced aromas and flavour compared to other seaweed ingredients, making it much more usable in a wide range of applications. This even includes applications with sweet flavours such as sports nutrition products and smoothies. Dr Craig Rose, Managing Director of Seaweed & Co., has this to say about the findings: “We are delighted with these preliminary results, which have taken over 18 months to perfect, alongside our investments in our now Patent...

Ancient superfood: form of red algae discovered as oldest plant on Earth

Newly found fossils suggest some plants may be hundreds of millions of years older than was previously estimated, including ancient superfoods like seaweed. Doctor Seaweed® investigates! Ancient superfood: what was discovered? What the scientists discovered were thread-like fossils within fleshy, more complex colonies in sedimentary rock in central India. The fossils suggest that plants which resemble red algae were present 1.6 billion years ago, in areas which were shallow sea back then. Swedish scientists say that this discovery could change our timeline of advanced life forming, and make us judge again how long well known ancient superfoods and plants have been around. The earliest displays of life on Earth are over 3.5 billion years old. These life forms were simply single-celled microscopic structures which evolved into bigger, multi-cellular eukaryotic organisms, containing a nucleus and certain other structures within a membrane. But these new fossils could potentially alter our perspective of when we think different cells evolved, especially for ancient superfoods and plants. They were identified as containing parts of chloroplasts, i.e. structures within plant cells involved in photosynthesis. Therese Sallstedt of the Swedish Museum of Natural History discovered some of the fossils herself, and speaking to BBC News, she said they were “the oldest fossil plants that we know of in Earth, in the form of 1.6 billion year old red algae.” Red algae is a form of seaweed: an ancient superfood that’s been getting even more popular in recent months. Sallstedt described the findings as showing us that “advanced life in the form of eukaryotes (like plants, fungi and us humans/animals) have a much deeper history on Earth...

Iodine Deficiency in the UK – Could Iodine from Seaweed be the answer?

A recent report from the Iodine Global Network states that the UK “now ranks seventh among the ten most iodine-deficient nations in the world, one of only two high income countries on the list.” This is a pretty shocking statement, and we explore here if iodine from seaweed could be the answer? Iodine is an essential trace element, with EU Approved Health Claims associated with its intake. These Health Claims include contributing to normal thyroid function, cognitive function, metabolism, nervous system and development in children. The major sources of iodine are seafood (including iodine from seaweed of course!), and also some from dairy and eggs. However, with declining intake of these foods in the UK, often associated with a perception of being high calories which is certainly the case with dairy, parts of the UK, and subsections of society, are having a diet insufficient in iodine. A recent article from the British Nutrition Foundation reinforces this message. It discusses that whilst the focus on obesity and diabetes is essential, there needs to be more done to address the lack of micro nutrients such as iodine, which result from restricted diets that aim to reduce calorie intake alone. In terms of iodine insufficiency/deficiency statements, there is a note of caution that should be made; it is correct that there is evidence of low iodine levels in some sections of the public, but there is more work to be done to more accurately extrapolate this to the whole UK. This may reflect the discussion in the British Nutrition Foundation publication, which discusses problems in sub-sections of society (e.g. young women). The...

Global Seaweed Supply Shortages

Seaweeds globally are a vastly underutilised natural resource, yet we now have situations where there is an under-supply, due to high demand for specific sources and types of seaweed. Several media outlets have covered this recently, with the latest in The Independent and reported as widely as in The Times of India quoting Seaweed & Co.’s very own Dr Craig Rose.                                   The reason for this seaweed supply shortage is due to a specific type of seaweed used in the manufacture of seaweed extracts of agar.  Primarily from SE Asia, the seaweed is farmed and used for the agar extracts.  This industry has seen very large growth in recent years, and become a very commoditised product. The seaweed supply shortfall is resulting in finished products being limited.  Whilst we are sure the issue can be rectified in time, it highlights the need for seaweed supply to be secure, stable and sustainable. At Seaweed & Co, and with our Doctor Seaweed Approved system, we ensure all our supplies are highly scalable, and sustainable so that as the market grows, the impact on the supply chain is a positive one of growth, and without negative environmental impact.  We predict further supply chain issues for certain types of seaweeds, with companies and suppliers that don’t follow this principle. Please get in touch if you have any questions and concerns about your current, or planned uses of...

Algal Oil – is there anything algae cant do?

Some exciting new developments in the world of algae with Algae Oil – Algae Oil billed as the next big healthy cooking oil Products have a cleaner taste than other cooking oils, report consumers Consumer feedback on Solazyme’s new high-oleic algae oils gives a high acceptance levels, with 98% of consumers reporting it had a ‘pleasant or no aftertaste’, 87% agreeing it had a ‘cleaner taste than other cooking oils’, and 93% saying they would recommend it. This story is about microalgae, and which Solazyme is one of a number of companies doing some incredible things. Doctor Seaweed, as the name implies, is primarily interested in seaweed, which is a macro algae (the big stuff) as oppose to micro algae (the little stuff). Of course all things algae are of interest, and the whole picture of how algae is becoming an integral part of our diets is amazing to see. Seaweed, or macro algae, is already used extensively for salt replacement in a wide range of foods. Salt replacement with seaweed is a key market driver, as salt is one of the biggest concerns in our diets due to its negative impacts on hypertension and heart health. Furthermore, the immense nutritional profile of seaweeds offer numerous health benefits in terms of providing specific nutrition in the form of minerals and trace elements (specifically iodine from seaweed), antioxidants and essential fatty acids. More specific health benefits include seaweed for weight management, satiety and prebiotic benefits. Now with an algae oil offering a very healthy, and sustainable alternative to other fats and oils, I hope the Algae Oil is on our...