Organic food is no longer a specialty item. It’s spread beyond the food co-ops of college towns and the West Coast into the pantries and refrigerators of 30% of American households. Those who eat organic food believe it’s healthier, tastier, and more nutritious – creating a readymade and devoted customer base for formulators.
If you want to capitalize on that market, you need to find quality, cost-effective ingredients to replace nonorganic additives. For a growing number of businesses, natural seaweed products have simplified their search. Here’s how a variety of seaweeds are helping organic food manufacturing replace artificial ingredients and colouring:
Crackers & Pasta
The appeal of most food products is tied to their appearance. If consumers are buying crackers, bread or pasta with zesty herbs and spices, they expect the visuals of the product to match their expectations. In an endeavor to stay within organic food manufacturing guidelines, some formulators are using seaweed to enhance the sensorial experience of their products. If they use the right seaweed, their products will visually pop without modifying the taste in any perceptible way.
Whether it’s due to lactose intolerance, dietary preferences or a love of the taste, more people are drinking milk substitutes. The growing demand is pushing formulators to explore their options for cost-effective, organic-friendly emulsifiers that don’t alter the taste of their products. In the eyes of the USDA, carrageenan (found in Chondrus crispus) lives up to that criteria. Food-grade carrageenan not only prevents combined liquids from separating, but it helps formulators create low-fat and low-sugar options taste as good as their more unhealthy counterparts.
Organic candy might sound like an oxymoron. We’re conditioned to think of our confections as the product of a science experiment of chemicals and industrial processes. Yet there’s a growing market for organic candies as well as products with more natural food colouring. For example, Nestlé revived their blue chocolate Smarties in the U.K. after discovering spirulina seaweed could effectively replace the artificial coloring. Other sweets are learning that a wide range of seaweed species can give them the reds, greens, blues and browns their customers crave – without an ounce of artificial colouring.
And Much More!
Formulators and researchers alike are investigating new and exciting ways to use the full range of seaweed species in their recipes. As more consumers want organic options, you’ll see more formulators turn to organic seaweed to enhance the health, appearance or experience of their products in inventive new ways. The question is: will you be one of them?
Want to learn about the full potential of seaweed in organic food manufacturing? Reach out to your Acadian SeaPlus™ team!