OHT Goes to Renvyle House Hotel 130 Year Celebrations

OHT Goes to Renvyle House Hotel 130 Year Celebrations

It is always a pleasure to be invited to showcase your products and services to people who will be genuinely interested in your showing. Fortunately the guys at Renvyle House were kind enough to do is last weekend, on Saturday the 9th March. Let us tell you, the pleasure was all ours, what a place and what an experience

The day started around 8 o’clock in the morning when the packing begun with all the promotional material, flyers, backdrop and samples finding their way into the car. The bags were packed, the car was full of fuel and we were off. The hour and a half journey from Shrule, Co. Mayo, Ireland was going to be a long one, full of hills and windy roads but when you get to pass through beautiful areas such as Cong, Clonbur, Leenaan and Kylemore Abbey, who could complain.

Our view of Kylemore Abbey.

Our view of Kylemore Abbey.

The sun was shining as we drove, the music was blaring and the views were spectacular. It was only 11.30 and the day was off to a great start. When we arrived at Renvyle (our first time here) we were mesmerised by the beauty of the place, located right on the shore, with the beach literally 20 metres away, we did not need any more positives. Alas, I had to do some work.

Our Stand at The Indoor Market

Our Stand at The Indoor Market

In the hotel I met Zoe who showed me where I would be setting up for the Indoor Market and went through the details of the event with me. I got my stand set up, had a fantastic interview on the shore with Valerie Cox from RTE Radio 1 and went to relax in my room (which was complimentary by the way) for 15 minutes before the show got on the road. The Indoor Market was great, I was privileged enough to meet many fantastic people from a wide variety of places. Lucinda O’Sullivan and Rosita Boland would be two more familiar names but some great people at the market included The Connemara Smokehouse and the Nuns from Kylemore Abbey who had loads on offer. After the market I quickly packed away and went to my room to relax and watch the second half of the Ireland v France rugby match.

Then it was time to get ready for my Prosecco Reception before I got to enjoy a Gourmet Dinner of Seven Courses accompanied by specifically chosen wine for each course. You will find a few images below of some of the courses from the meal. I unfortunately got so absorbed in enjoying the marvellous food on offer, taking pictures kept slipping my mind.

Two Glasses of Prosecco

Two Glasses of Prosecco

The Dinner Menu

The Dinner Menu

Lobster and Mango Salad

Lobster and Mango Salad

Soup

Soup

Sorbet to clear the Palette

Sorbet to clear the Palette

Lamb main course

Lamb main course

Gorgeous refreshing dessert

Gorgeous refreshing dessert

The Gourmet Evening began at 7 o’clock and around 11.30 pm I finally put down the last bite of a gorgeous meal. A meal which was not only great for the food by Chef Tim O’ Sullivan and his team, but also for the service of the front of house staff and especially for the wonderful people I was able to sit down and enjoy my meal with, and people who I hope I will meet again in the future.

I would just like to finish by showing you the view from my room in the hotel which was spectacular and by thanking all of those in Renvyle for making my stay so relaxing and enjoyable. Finally I would also like to thank them for extending the invite of staying and enjoying their hospitality to my better have. I have gathered some great brownie points with her for this one.

The view from the bedroom

The view from the bedroom

Twitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter Page

Follow us on Twitter

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on Facebook

Advertisements
Seaweed: A rich source of vitamins and bioactive compounds

Seaweed: A rich source of vitamins and bioactive compounds

Awareness of the potential health benefits of seaweed – not just for human consumption– is gathering apace, whereby selected seaweed species are now being added to aquaculture and agriculture feed with resulting benefits. One reason for this is that seaweed is a significant source of vitamins and other interesting compounds that have a number of biological functions.

Biological Functions of Vitamins

Kelp Brown

Kelp Seaweed

Vitamins can be divided into those that are either water or fatsoluble. Water-soluble vitamins include both B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. The B-complex vitamins are the largest group and have roles associated with metabolism, muscle tone, cell growth and the nervous system. For example, Nori (Porphyra sp.) and sea lettuce (Ulva sp.) are good sources of vitamin B12 which has an important role in DNA synthesis. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for gum health, iron absorption and resistance to infection.

Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D, E and K. Vitamin A (retinol) plays an important role in bone growth, tooth development, reproduction and cell division. Vitamin D, another fat-soluble vitamin, is important for bone growth and maintenance. Vitamins E and K also have a number of biological functions including antioxidant activity and blood clotting. In addition to their biochemical functions and antioxidant activity, seaweed-derived vitamins have been demonstrated to have other health benefits such as reducing hypertension, preventing cardiovascular disease and reducing the risk of cancer.

Factors Affecting Vitamin Content 

Although seaweed contains both water and fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamin composition of seaweed is variable and depends on a number of factors. For example, evidence exits of seasonal variation in the vitamin content of the seaweed Eisenia arborea, where fat-soluble vitamins follow a different pattern to those that are water-soluble. Another factor affecting seaweed vitamin content is light exposure, as plants growing in bright light can contain higher levels of some vitamins.

Seaweed species is another critical factor which can affect vitamin composition. For example, the level of niacin (vitamin B3) in some brown seaweeds (e.g. Laminaria sp.) is approximately one tenth the level found in the red seaweed, Porphyra tenera. Other factors that can influence vitamin content include geographical location, salinity and sea temperature. Vitamin content can also be affected by processing as both heat and dehydration can have a significant effect on the vitamin levels.

Seaweed-Derived Compounds

In addition to vitamins, seaweed also contains bioactive compounds which have been proven to have antibiotic; antiviral; antimicrobial; mitogenic anti-inflammatory; anti-adhesion; ACE-inhibitory; antioxidant; anticancer and antithrombotic effects. These bioactive compounds include polysaccharides; proteins; amino acids; pigments phenolic compounds and sterols. The levels of these bioactive compounds also depend on factors such as species, geographical location and season.

Incorporating Seaweed into Feed

Ocean Harvest Technology’s fully sustainable feed product ‘OceanFeed™’ is a specially selected, unique blend that harnesses the bioactive compounds and vitamins present in seaweed. OceanFeed™ therefore offers a natural, fully sustainable feed ingredient formula for the aquaculture and animal feed sectors that can replace costly synthetic ingredients.

Researcher working in the OHT Lab

Researcher working in the OHT Lab

by Simon Faulkner

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on Facebook

 

Twitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter Page

Follow us on Twitter

 

LinkedIn logo with link to Ocean Harvest Technology LinkedIn page

Find Ocean Harvest Technology

 

 

Valentine’s Day at Ocean Harvest Technology!!

Valentine’s Day at Ocean Harvest Technology!!

We try not to take ourselves too seriously here at Ocean Harvest so we decided to have some fun with some of the Kelp which we had drying on our floor today. Have a look at the photos and tell us what you make of our heart! Happy Valentines Day everyone.

IMG_0818

Our two Laura’s and Toine working hard!

IMG_0821

IMG_0827

IMG_0830

IMG_0834

Seaweed – an untapped source of protein and bioactive compounds for aquaculture

Seaweed – an untapped source of protein and bioactive compounds for aquaculture

Seaweed is fast gaining a reputation as the ideal sustainable food source. Certainly, the nutritional properties of seaweeds are both unique and interesting, with some seaweeds having protein levels as high as 47%. Seaweed, therefore, represents an untapped source of protein and has great future potential.

As the global population continues to rise, the need for sustainable, alternative sources of protein also increases. In fact, it is estimated that the worldwide requirement for food will increase up to 50% by 2030, thus highlighting the absolute need for sustainable development. Recently, Ocean Harvest Technology has worked in collaboration with a number of research institutes to evaluate the use of different seaweeds as a sustainable protein source for aquaculture.

Why Seaweed Protein?

Protein is the most expensive constituent of fish feed whereby global expenditure exceeds €1bn per annum. Fishmeal is a high-protein animal feed used extensively in aquaculture but uses wild fish stocks to feed farmed fish and is an unsustainable feed resource. The ability of fishmeal supply to meet future demand is a massive global concern – especially given that aquaculture production is growing at a rate of nearly 9% per annum.

Image of Ocean Harvest Technology Products

Ocean Harvest Technology Produce

As wild fish stocks decline, the aquaculture industry faces a massive challenge to identify cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives to fishmeal on which it is so heavily reliant. Seaweed protein has the potential to provide a solution to this problem as it is relatively underexploited, contains high amounts of protein and can be cultured in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner.

Essential Nutrients

Proteins are an important source of energy, present in all cells and are an essential component of most biochemical processes. Proteins comprise one or more chains of various amino acids, organised in a specific manner that give the protein a specific structure. When ingested, proteins are broken down into amino acids or short chains of amino acids called peptides. These amino acids play key roles in important metabolic pathways associated with maintenance, growth, reproduction, and immunity.

Amino acids can be classified as either essential or non-essential. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the animal and must be sourced solely from the diet. Most seaweed species contain all of the essential amino acids and are also rich in some nonessential amino acids such as aspartic and glutamic acid.

In general, the protein content of seaweed ranges from 3-47% and considerable differences exist in the protein content of brown, green and red seaweeds. In contrast to brown seaweeds, red seaweeds contain higher levels of protein which can be up to 47% (Porphyra sp.). Brown seaweeds can have protein levels up to around 20% (Alaria esculenta) whereas the levels found in green seaweeds are as high as 29% (Ulva lactuca). Differences in season, species and environment can have a significant impact on the composition of amino acids and protein in seaweeds.

Bioactive Proteins

Seaweed is a natural source of biologically active proteins, amino acids and peptides. Two groups of bioactive proteins – lectins and phycobiliproteins – are present in some seaweed. Lectins are a group of carbohydrate-binding proteins that display anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-HIV and anti-inflammatory biological activity; lectins have been successfully isolated from a number of seaweeds including Eucheuma sp. and Codium fragile.

Harvesting Seaweed to extract protein

Harvesting Seaweed to extract protein

Another group of proteins – phycobiliproteins – exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering and antiviral activities to name but a few and have been isolated from the red seaweed, Palmaria palmata. A number of bioactive amino acids are also present in seaweed. One such example is taurine – a bioactive amino acid required for some biological functions. Other bioactive amino acids present in seaweeds include laminine, kainoids, and mycosporinelike amino acids. These amino acids have a wide range of biological properties including antioxidant, hypotensive, insecticidal, anthelmintic, and neuroexcitatory activity. In addition to bioactive amino acids, some bioactive peptides have been isolated from seaweed. These include carnosine and glutathione both of which are antioxidant peptides that protect cells from damage caused by reactive oxygen species. Another bioactive peptide produced by seaweed is Kahalalide F which is a cyclic depsipeptide with anti-cancer activity and is also active in the treatment of AIDS.

Seaweed Protein in Aquafeed

The functional biological properties of seaweed protein make it an excellent candidate for a natural, sustainable alternative to fishmeal in aquaculture. The capacity for large-scale production of seaweeds in Ireland, together with the high-purity seaweed protein extraction developed by Ocean Harvest Technology further enhances the future potential. The availability of such sustainable protein sources is a prerequisite for our ability to continually produce high-quality and safe products.

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on FacebookTwitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter PageFollow us on Twitter

Seaweed Protein: Properties and Possibilities in Aquaculture

Seaweed Protein: Properties and Possibilities in Aquaculture

Seaweed is a natural and sustainable ingredient with a lot of different functional biological properties, amongst them protein. Protein are biochemical compounds comprising one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form that facilitate biological functions in the body.

Although the structure and biological properties of seaweed proteins are still poorly documented, the amino acid compositions of several species have been known for a long time. Habitat – and especially seasonal variation – has an effect on proteins, peptides and amino acids in seaweed. The protein fraction of seaweed varies with the species but is generally low in brown seaweed, <15%. Higher protein contents are recorded for green and red seaweed, up to 40%. These levels are comparable to those found in highprotein vegetables such as soybeans.

Essential Amino Acids

Most seaweed species contain all the essential amino acids and are a rich source of the acidic amino acids, aspartic acid and glutamic acid and in general are higher than those found in terrestrial plants.

One bioactive protein present in algae are lectins, which are a structurally diverse group of carbohydrate binding proteins. Marine algal lectins exhibit antibiotic, mitogenic, cytotoxic, anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antiadhesion and anti-HIV bioactive properties and are currently commercially produced for a variety of purposes.

Peptides are 2-20 amino acid long chains which once a protein is broken down are released and become bioactive and fulfil certain functions in the body. The depsi-peptide kahalalide-F from Bryopsis sp. – a green alga is active in the treatment of lung cancer, tumours and AIDS. Many other bioactive functions have been ascribed to algal peptides. When protein and peptides are broken down to their individual building blocks we have amino acids. The eight essential amino acids (cystine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and valine) cannot be synthesised by animals, nor can they be replaced by other ‘less valuable building blocks.

All essential amino acids are present in brown and red seaweed species; red species feature uniquely high concentrations of taurine – an ingredient found in a well-known energy drink.

Extracting Protein

Ocean Harvest Technology in association with several universities has already embarked on optimising extracting total protein – finding and isolating bioactive peptides for applications in aquaculture and animal feed.

Harvesting Seaweed to extract protein

Harvesting Seaweed to extract protein

Why is this important?

Because a global protein crisis is looming. Currently, about 5 million tonnes of fishmeal is produced and used as feed ingredient in livestock and aquaculture. Virtually all fishmeal is used as a high protein ingredient in feed for farmed land animals and farmed fish. The typical inclusion rate for fishmeal in farm animal diets is 1-5% of dry matter, mainly in specialist diets – e.g. for weaner pigs. A typical farmed salmon diet contains 20-30% fishmeal.

Fishmeal Components

In the ten years to 2002, aquaculture expanded worldwide by more than 9% per annum and since then at a slightly slower rate. While the use of fishmeal will consequently increase – improved efficiency and some substitution means this is likely to be at a slower rate.

Making Pellets from Seaweed Protein

Making Pellets from Seaweed Protein

Nevertheless, fish stocks used for fishmeal are diminishing and prices are rising. A lot of work has taken place on plant protein as replacement; however, often these plant proteins like soya are less suitable for use in aquaculture due to anti-nutritional factors or lower performance. The large fish-feed manufacturers currently purchase more than €1bn in fish protein and oil per year, sourced primarily from South America by harvesting wild fish from around the world.

Two of the biggest financial and environmental costs for these companies and all fish-feed processors are increasing shortage and the spiralling cost of fish protein. It takes 3-4 kg of wild fish (herring, capelin for example) to create 1kg of fish meal. This is a completely unsustainable scenario that has a major negative impact on the ocean environment.

Seaweed Purity

Seaweed protein extracted for example by Ocean Harvest Technology has a high purity, comprising over 80% protein in contrast to fishmeal at about 65%. It is also extremely popular amongst aquaculture feed manufacturers because of its excellent amino acid profile.

When large-scale production of seaweeds starts in earnest (e.g. in Ireland), it most definitely could help alleviate the problem currently experienced with fish meal and plant protein  replacements. Moreover, seaweed protein is derived from a sustainable marine resource and does not have the stigma of being a food crop.

These attributes make seaweed protein an excellent source for use in aquaculture feeds and show great potential for it in the future.

Twitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter Page

Follow us on Twitter

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on Facebook

Aquaculture Breakthrough in Shrimp Farming

Aquaculture Breakthrough in Shrimp Farming

The black tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon, is a marine crustacean widely reared for food in Asia and is often the one that ends up on your restaurant plate.

Image of a Black Tiger Shrimp on a persons hand

Black Tiger Prawn

At approximately 36 centimetres in length and weighing up to 650 grams this is the world’s largest species of prawn. P. monodon is also the most widely cultured prawn species in the world, although it is gradually losing ground to the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Over 900,000 tonnes are consumed annually, worth about $US 5 billion, two thirds of which is farmed. Frozen head-on, head-off, and peeled shrimp used to be the major export products to the main markets in the USA, EU and Japan. In financial value, Penaeus monodon is the most important traded aquaculture commodity in Asia.

Disease Issues

Being the case with every type of monoculture, major disease problems are always a threat, either from viral Whitespote Disease (WSD) and Yellowhead Disease (YHV) or bacterial Vibrio campbellii .

No chemicals or drugs are yet available to treat such viral infections. Nevertheless, through good management of pond, water and feed, together with close monitoring of the health status of stock inputs, the impact of disease can be greatly reduced.

Outbreaks of the most serious virus disease nearly always occur following dramatic changes in parameters such as water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and water hardness. In some cases, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals have been used to treat these viruses but their usage comes with a high price and with little success.

Solution

Image of Ocean Harvest Technology Products

Ocean Harvest Technology Produce

Oceanfeed™-shrimp is the first marine natural and sustainable functional feed ingredient derived from macroalgae. Unique blending and processing guarantees that all bioactive ingredients are present in the final end product and can replace the  mineral and vitamin premix. A number of reports in the literature have shown some degree of success in improving the clinical outcome of shrimp in viral and bacterial challenges by administering immunostimulants and algal extracts.*

When supplemented to the diet, fucoidan – a seaweed component -partially protected shrimp from White Spot Syndrom Virus (WSSV) infection **. Oceanfeed™- shrimp contains a plethora of natural bioactive compounds which, when incorporated into the diet, can modulate several functions and assist in the control of chronic diseases and viral infections in farmed shrimp. It also allows for diseasefree farmed shrimp to be reared in a more natural and sustainable way, thus easing concerns about environmental impact and sustainability.

Trial Results

OHT recently finalised trials using Penaeus monodon with the objective of researching the effects of Oceanfeed™-shrimp on growth, FCR, and viral and bacterial diseases. Tests were also done to assess the improvement of the clinical outcome of

 shrimp challenged with WSSV and Vibrio after feeding on a diet supplemented with Oceanfeed™-Shrimp. Growth tests were performed by CreveTec- AFT Research Center in biofloc recirculation systems. Challenge tests were performed by the Shrimp Research Group of the University of Ghent in Belgium.

Four different diets (with identical protein and lipid levels) were tested, incorporating 5 and 10% inclusions of Oceanfeed™- Shrimp and two diets with yeast included. Results after the two-month trials showed that inclusion of 10% of Oceanfeed™-shrimp (OF10-shrimp) without the addition of yeast was the best diet of the four tested diets and was able to replace the mineral vitamin premix. Moreover, shrimp fed with 10% inclusion of OF-shrimp were 2.8% heavier than reference shrimp fed with the standard reference diet at the end of the trial. This would translate into a 2.8 tonne increased yield per 100 tonnes of shrimp. The Feed Conversion Ratio (corrected for mortalities) was 0.08 better with 10% inclusion of OF-shrimp. This is 8 tonnes of feed per 100 tonnes of shrimp that would be saved. Mortalities also improved on the OF10 feed by 1.67%. This is 1.67 tonnes shrimp per 100 tonnes. There was a strong effect in the OF10 diet when challenged with Whitespot Viral Disease and the bacterial disease Vibrio with a 40% and 20% lower mortality respectively compared to the control diet.

At the end of the trial, non-challenged shrimp were tasted by a large UK seafood retailer. The trials showed that OF10 shrimp were significantly better in taste and texture than reference diet shrimp.

Global Issues

In 1810 the world population was approximately 1 billion; today, the figure is upwards of 7 billion, and by 2050 it is expected to top 9 billion. Food is therefore going to be incredibly important!

Currently food production is primarily land-based, despite the fact that 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans. That leaves roughly 26% of the earth to support human life, animal life, vegetative life and agricultural production. It is estimated that less than 3% of the earth’s surface is being utilised as arable land. The green revolution has made 3% of the planet incredibly productive. But can it grow? Even more importantly, is it sustainable? The platform (food production) may not be burning, yet, but it is getting quite crowded. What if 10% of the ocean could be used to grow seafood? Shrimp farming will no doubt form a large part of this seafood production.

We are at the cross roads of a blue revolution, and Ocean Harvest Technology has developed feed ingredients from macroalgae to help develop this in a more sustainable way and to lessen the need and dependency on chemicals and additives. A perfect example is the effects of Oceanfeed™-shrimp in shrimp farming.

*(Itami et al., 1998; Takahashi et al., 2000; Chang et al., 2003)

** (Chotigeat et al., 2004)

Twitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter Page

Follow us on Twitter

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on Facebook

Seaweeds as a gastronomic food resource in a sustainable and healthy diet

Seaweeds as a gastronomic food resource in a sustainable and healthy diet

Certain seaweeds have a relatively high level of the amino acid L-Glutamate, specifically Laminaria species which are brown seaweeds popularly called kelp or certain red seaweeds like Porphyra commonly called Nori, sloke or laver and which are used as wrapper for sushi. Apparently, our taste buds on the tongue and other regions of the mouth have receptors for this specific amino acid and can detect this amino acid as a specific taste described as meaty or brothy with a long lasting, mouth-watering and coating sensation over the tongue. They refer to this savoury taste as Umami. Umami has a mild but lasting after-taste difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a furriness sensation on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth.  Umami is one of the five recognized basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is a Japanese word invented by Professor Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University in 1908 which means pleasant savoury taste and was made up of two words umai meaning “delicious” and mi meaning “taste”. He found that glutamate was responsible for the Umami taste of the broth from kombu seaweed.

Image of Kombu Seaweed, a type of brown seaweed also known as Kelp

Kombu (Kelp) Seaweed

It took a long time before umami was recognized as a basic taste; but in 1985 at the first Umami International Symposium in Hawaii, the term Umami was officially recognized as the scientific term to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides.  Now it is widely accepted as the fifth basic taste. Umami represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP). Umami has the ability to balance taste and round the total flavour of a dish.

Using glutamate is not new and has a long history in cooking. The best example is the fermented fish sauces (garum), rich in glutamate, in ancient Greek and Roman times. The sauce was generally made through the crushing and fermentation in brine of the innards of various fishes such as mackerel, tuna, eel, and others.

A student of professor Ikeda, Shintaro Kodama, discovered in 1913 that dried bonito flakes (a small kind of Tuna) contained another umami substance. This was the ribonucleotide IMP. In 1957, Akira Kuninaka realized that the ribonucleotide GMP present in shiitake mushrooms also conferred the umami taste. His most important discovery was the synergistic effect between ribonucleotides and glutamate. When foods rich in glutamate are combined with ingredients that have ribonucleotides, the resulting taste intensity is higher than the sum of both ingredients. This synergy of umami provides an explanation for various classical food pairings, starting with why Japanese make dashi with kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes.

The optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt present in the dish. Low-salt foods can maintain a satisfactory taste with the appropriate amount of umami. In fact, low salt soups tasted better when the soup contained umami, whereas low-salt soups without umami were less pleasant. In addition to enhance the deliciousness, umami compounds can to some extent substitute sodium chloride in foods. Thus by integrating seaweed into industrial produced foods and meals, human consumption of salt (sodium chloride) can potentially be decreased with the associated health benefits of doing so.

Why reduce salt intake? Apparently salt intake has become quite a problem in Europe, with Europeans consuming roughly twice the recommended limit of salt each day, causing widespread high blood pressure and placing millions at risk of heart attack and stroke. These conditions cause many deaths and cost billions in healthcare expenses. Only ca. 10% of the sodium in our diets comes from saltshakers, while over 80% is added to foods before they are sold.

Over the last couple of years there was a voluntarily reduction of salt by the food industry in Europe with some successes e.g., in the U.K., where they have already reduced salt in packaged and restaurant foods and managed to implement salt reductions of 40% or more in some food products. If we look at Ireland, salt levels remain high in processed foods as the economic climate means many businesses no longer see reducing levels as a priority. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is disappointed the food industry has lost interest in its voluntary salt reduction programme. Especially in view of that Irish people are still consuming far too much salt.
The recommended daily limit for sodium intake is 2,3 gram for most adults, while we consume closer to 5-6 gram a day. Some food products, such as deli-meat sandwiches, pack more than the recommended daily intake of sodium in one serving. But much of the salt in diets comes from breads, muffins and other foods that don’t taste salty.

Developments in food technology, including alternatives to salt and other sodium-based ingredients, manufacturing and distribution chain processes, and acceptable food safety testing, will all be necessary to ensure further progress, as will rebalancing product flavours to maintain consumer acceptability. This is where the Umami taste from seaweeds could play a major role.

Seaweed is an underutilized food in the Western diet, while it has an important role in Eastern food cultures. Its content of umami compounds and a beneficial nutritional composition have great potential to become part of a healthy, tasty and sustainable diet, while able to replace salt in many processed food products. Marketing of seaweeds and implementation of these in our food culture will not only contribute to a healthy and well tasting diet based on local ingredients, but also support a sustainable food production and increase business opportunities for local seaweed farmers and food industries. Creating foods and meals with seaweeds that appeal to the consumers require gastronomic innovation at all levels of the food sector, from high-end restaurants to the food industry. The success of seaweed as a new food resource also requires an increased awareness of the consumers on the qualities of consuming seaweeds and how to use seaweed products in cooking. Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd has developed several salt replacement and taste enhancing mixtures that can be taken on board by food product developers and the food industry and create a whole new market for novel food products while reducing salt levels in the diet.

An image of the Facebook logo to link to the Ocean Harvest technology page

Find us on Facebook

Twitter Logo with a link to the Ocean Harvest Technology Twitter Page

Follow us on Twitter