AgriSea New Zealand Seaweed Ltd
Principal investigators: Clare Bradley, Head of Science, Research and Development – AgriSea
Industry partners: Agrisea
High-Value Nutrition funding: $48,000
Unlocking the power of seaweed for human health
Rimurimu (seaweed) is a highly nutritious food, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactives that can provide functional health properties. Despite its huge popularity in China, Japan, and Korea, and its long history of consumption by coastal communities around the world, seaweed has seen a relatively low global uptake in the everyday diet.
The limited exposure and accessibility in the Western market is a large barrier to more widespread access and consumption of these health-promoting compounds, so its full potential is yet unrealised.
AgriSea is a family-owned and operated Māori business that has produced organic seaweed biostimulants and nutritional supplements for 25 years. The recent addition of an on-site food-grade facility has enabled the development of a seaweed beverage to begin with the aim of capturing the health benefits of seaweed in a tasty and convenient way.
A dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan product
As a seaweed product, the health tonic will boast clean label, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan properties. Embarking on this project will allow the characterisation of the beneficial compounds within the beverage and gain consumer insights into the flavour profile desired by the everyday consumer.
AgriSea is committed to bringing the health benefits of seaweed to Aotearoa and beyond. This project offers the opportunity to scientifically explore the functional properties and consumer preferences for consuming seaweed.
The key outcome, developing a novel seaweed beverage that is backed by science and consumers alike, will bolster confidence in taking the final product to both the domestic and international market and in scaling up production on-site.
Information realised by this project will be shared with groups through hui, research communications, workshops, and ultimately product launch.