The North East Business and Innovation Centre’s (BIC) Innovation Programme has provided support to Seaweed & Co. to expand on our unique seaweed powders to reach a wider market and provide much needed health benefits.
The BIC’s Innovation Programme help SMEs across the North East to realise their innovative possibilities. With this support from BIC’s programme we developed a micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient, which has the potential to tackle obesity and assist with managing blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
Dr Craig Rose, managing director of Seaweed & Co., said: “After working in the marine industry for over 15 years, I have found that seaweed has proven itself as economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. It has a wide range of health benefits and huge scope for growth commercially.
“We invested a lot into developing unique seaweed powders using our Patent Pending techniques and have been delighted with the return on investment to date. Our original powders have had great success. However, they are mainly suitable for savoury flavours and so wanted to create something new to reach a wider market such as beverages and sports nutrition which have sweeter flavours.”
Dr Rose added: “The BIC’s Innovation Programme was recommended from various sources and I approached them to help with the development of our exciting, new product.
“From initial contact right through to bringing our new product to market, Elizabeth Shaw from the BIC was extremely helpful. She guided us through the programme, ensuring we were eligible for funding and assisting us wherever necessary.
‘Seaweed&TM Protect’, is a fine seaweed powder; each individual particle is finely coated with a thin layer of plant protein (micro-encapsulated seaweed). The coating protects key nutrients during digestion, allowing them to be released where you most need them.
Dr Rose, working with Newcastle University to advance understanding of the health and nutritional benefits of Seaweed & Co.’s Seaweed ingredients, have carried out research which shows the innovation to be full of promise. As reported in Nutrition Insight, the micro-encapsulated seaweed allows the protection of key nutrients during digestion, with improved and targeted release in the small intestine.
Our seaweed-based products have already achieved great success and Craig hopes to increase consumer understanding of seaweed, and its benefits in the daily diet.