Seaweed business expands with innovation programme

Seaweed business expands with innovation programme

Seaweed & Co. is expanding its range of seaweed powders to reach a broader market and provide a wider variety of health benefits.

North Shields-based Seaweed & Co. has developed a micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient that could tackle obesity and manage blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, thanks to support from the The North East Business and Innovation Centre’s (BIC) innovation programme.

Dr Craig Rose, managing director at 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.”

The BIC’s Innovation Programme is helping SMEs across the North East realise their innovative potential by providing funding, advice and guidance.

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.

“If you have real innovation to explore, I would highly recommend the Innovation Programme. The team at the BIC ensure that the process is not too time consuming or daunting, providing you with the time you need to focus on the task at hand; which will hopefully help to grow your business.”

The new product, Seaweed&TM Protect, is a fine seaweed powder where each individual particle is finely coated with a thin layer of plant protein. The coating protects key nutrients during digestion, allowing these nutrients to be released where you most need them.

Dr Rose is currently working with Newcastle University to advance understanding of the health and nutritional benefits of seaweed, and hopes it will help the company to develop new, market-leading products.