Wakame, nori, spirulina… What do they have in common? It’s all seaweed! Still reserved for the organic aisle, these marine foods will occupy a large place in our plate contents for years to come. And for good reason, they have many health and nutritional benefits, as well as ecological ones. The European Union plans to promote it through a dedicated digital platform, which will bring together producers, consumers and researchers.
According to expert agency Technavio, the seaweed market will grow strongly. By 2026, this portion should increase in value by 6.74% and weigh $1.31 billion. One of the main reasons for their heralded success: their richness in nutrients, which makes them considered a meat substitute. And it’s not just about people. You could very well imagine replacing animal proteins with this substitute in animal feed.
With regard to microalgae, which differ from macroalgae such as nori algae in that the former consist of only one cell, they “Grow quickly and therefore have yields per hectare almost ten times higher than that of cultivated terrestrial plants”, Pierre Colas, researcher at Inserm, in the biological station Roscoff, explains in the journal published by the scientific institute. And to add that“They do not encroach on agricultural land. Finally, because they consume CO2 (through the process of photosynthesis), they can capture it when grown near industrial poles, thus contributing to the fight against global warming.†
A European platform to promote seaweed consumption
Three years. It is the time the European Union has given itself to turn seaweed consumption into a real industry that counts. How does she plan to handle it? By launching a platform on the Internet that will promote it, in everything that algae can mean positively for the consumer. People who have adopted a vegan diet already know their benefits and there are many of them. Seaweed is rich in omega 3 of the DHA type, a fatty acid that aids in the proper functioning of the brain, but also the heart and retina. They are also a vector of this famous fifth flavor called umami, but they are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin B12 and help regulate cholesterol.
This European project, called EU4Algae, also has an environmental dimension. Europe wants to promote algae as a sustainable material to take more into account in industrial processes. “Their production improves ocean health by reducing carbon dioxide, phosphorus and nitrogen in marine ecosystems”explains the European Commission, at the heart of this launch.
The platform will be launched next summer. It will bring together different profiles of actors who may be involved in this new industry: algae producers, but also retailers, researchers, investors, governments, NGOs. Consumers will also be invited to participate and will find a wealth of information on how to better integrate algae into their diets.
(ETX Daily Up)