USA- Philadelphia-based Sea & Flour, the first baking company that uses seaweed to enrich bread and other foods, has received patent approval for its seaweed processing method for baking applications.
According to the company, Sea & Flour’s breakthrough technology preserves the nutritional profile of seaweed (sometimes lost while processing), addresses its off-taste, and ensures it can be added as a primary ingredient in commercial baking operations.
The company’s first seaweed bakery line includes bread, buns, rolls, and pizza dough. They are claimed to be carbon-positive and carbon-negative products because marine algae can be grown using regenerative coastal agriculture.
“Being awarded this patent is recognition of the uniqueness of our approach and the methods we developed and perfected over several years,” said Arlin Wasserman, co-founder, and CEO of Sea & Flour.
Penelope Wasserman and Arlin Wasserman (a food consultant at Changing Tastes) realized that they could address important health and environmental issues by reformulating bread with the nutritional power of marine algae.
After years of developing a method for processing seaweed, in 2021, the “Wassermans” launched Sea & Flour and the company’s line of healthy and eco-friendly seaweed bakeries.
The products first debuted at various events, such as the UN Ocean Conference 2022, and last year, the company was raising funds for a commercial launch with a US retailer.
“Our goal is to help food manufacturers and retailers make products that consumers already love and do more for them in terms of nutritional value while also doing more for the planet,” he added.
According to Sea & Flour, osteoporosis, and hypertension are two of the most common chronic diseases in America, and bread is one of the most eaten and loved foods.
Seaweed, known to be one of the best bio-available sources of Vitamin K, calcium, proteins, and other nutrients, contributes to healthy bones if eaten frequently. Additionally, seaweed is a good replacer for salt.
Moreover, market research from Changing Tastes shows that a significant share of American consumers wants to include more seaweed in their diets.
“We’re making seaweed perform successfully as a key ingredient in food manufacturing, including in everyday products like bread, rolls, and pizza crusts, and we’re excited to see this nutritious and sustainable ingredient play a larger role in our diets,” Arlin added.
According to the baking company, using seaweed in commercial baking will expand regenerative coastal agriculture, which sequesters carbon and increases oxygen levels in seawater, propels the blue economy, and contributes to tackling the climate crisis.
Grandview Research provides that the global commercial seaweed market size was USD 9.9 billion in 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% from 2022 to 2030.
The growth is attributed to factors such as high nutritional value and health benefits and rising demand for seaweed in end-use industries such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food and beverages, and animal feed, and Sea & Flour is looking to be part of this growth in the food industry.