Promoting the benefits for consumers and industry

Seaweed Health Foundation / Research Research

Since 2010 the Foundation has helped co-ordinate more than 10 original, independent applied research projects between seaweed producers, the food and health industries, academic research institutions and funding agencies.

Thanks to a series of studies at the Centre for Food Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University, Seagreens® wild Wrack seaweed is now being used to reduce salt in a wide range of manufactured foods, including our daily bread.

This ground-breaking research, hailed by UK Research Councils as ‘A Big Idea for the Future’, benefits cardio-vascular and related health conditions.

A further series of studies at Teesside, Sheffield, Newcastle and Glasgow, has focused on the implications of seaweed in the daily diet in obesity, diabetes, digestive health and nutrition.

In 2012 the Foundation co-ordinated the largest independent, comparative study of the food safety and nutrient profiles of 3 species of wild Wrack seaweeds from Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Scotland.

This information continues to be of great benefit to consumers, healthcare practitioners, food and health product manufacturers, the media and regulatory authorities.

In 2014 the British Journal of Nutrition published the findings of an independent study involving the same Ascophyllum in use as an iodine supplement produced by Napiers, Scotland’s 152-years-old herbal apothecary, conducted at Glasgow University. The seaweed restored iodine sufficiency to iodine deficient women with no adverse effect on thyroid function.

As interest in, and demand for seaweed grows, this kind of research brings clarity and veracity to the many issues which face producers, healthcare professionals, marketers and consumers of seaweed products.

Many questions arising from the use of seaweed in everyday food as well as in nutritional medicine, are beyond the means of individual seaweed producers or their customers to answer.

The Seaweed Health Foundation can bring economies of scale and independent management to a wide range of research projects, and enable groups of interested parties to co-operate and gain valuable information from the findings.

This is particularly true where similar issues are of interest and concern across a number of European countries.

On behalf of seaweed producers, the Foundation can co-ordinate and reduce the costs of analytical research which is vital to the safety, certification and marketability of seaweed for human consumption. A range of consultancy services is also available.