Queensland researchers lead push for new ‘superfood’ seaweed industry

[Australia] USC biologist Dr Nick Paul has studied seaweed for 20 years. He and his university colleagues have been talking to Queensland farmers and chefs about the opportunities seaweed presents.

“There is lots of seaweed produced and eaten in the world and there are plenty of health and environmental benefits attached,” he said.

“Seaweed has some really unique fibres inside and helps with the human digestive system.

“It is also an excellent filter of good minerals and contains high levels of potassium, zinc and iron.

“There is also excess nutrients in the water from agriculture run-off, but as seaweed grows, it regularly strips out these nutrients from the water to prevent algae blooms.”

Dr Paul, USC marine ecologist Dr Alexandra Campbell and USC business school deputy head Dr Dawn Birch have been working to create a marketing campaign to showcase the benefits of seaweed.

“If a product is Australian-made then Australians assume good things automatically,” he said.

“There are very little options to buy locally grown seaweed on a commercial scale because most of it is grown in Asia.

“The way for this to work is to get potential producers onside, preferably those already farming marine products so they can easily diversify.

“We are already talking to producers who would be prepared to grow seaweed and companies who would be interested in using seaweed.

“It is interesting from a biological perspective, it is important from an ecological point of view and the best way to drive the positive environmental side is to get people to buy it so we can do more.

“This is not just a university thought bubble, we have loads of people working on this.”

Dr Paul said they had already engaged a chef to design various seaweed broths and once the product was out in the market, he was confident people would take it in new directions.

 

Photo: Queensland university researchers have spoken to farmers and chefs about the opportunities seaweed presents.

View original article at: Queensland researchers lead push for new ‘superfood’ seaweed industry

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