Innovation in food: Seagriculture Conference

Innovation in food: Seagriculture Conference Courtesy of Pexels, Kindel Media

For many of us, seaweed as a food may still be quite a new concept. But as we're hearing more and more about its numerous health benefits, we also hear about its other possible applications and environmental benefits. Either way, from the sea to a product is quite a journey, and the Seagriculture Conference provides a place for the latest seaweed experts in the world to come together and help make that happen. Together, they discuss the future of seaweed, the latest innovations and the most up-to-date market solutions, both in Europe and the US.

 

This year, the eleventh edition of the Seagriculture EU Conference focussed on the cultivation of seaweed, and on the implementation of new, innovative approaches. It attracted 137 delegates from 18 countries to Bremerhaven, Germany, where the most up-to-date experts talked about various aspects of the seaweed sector: business, ecosystems, the social aspects, and environmental benefits. They also addressed seaweed farming on a large and small scale, and presented new sustainable solutions. 

As consumers, we have come to love seaweed on our plates or in the form of supplements, for its taste as well as its impressive list of vitamins and minerals. Particularly Spirulina and Chlorella are popular and seaweeds, also known as edible microalgae, are said to have been part of our human diets since very early times, and researchers in Japan, Germany and USA have revealed how their nutritive value far outweighs that of conventional crops.

No mean feat

But seaweeds are also valued for other functional benefits. For example, microalgal biotechnology is considered as something that can assist in the achievement of a number of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for natural resource management. These goals include zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, responsible consumption and production, life below water and life on land. Which is no mean feat.

Experts are saying that microalgae can play a role in mitigating environmental impacts of our life on this planet, and help reduce our wasteful production processes. They are also discovering how novel microalgal products can help achieve environmental, economic and developmental goals, and that sustainably produced microalgal biomass can be used for energy, food and chemical development.

A taste for it in Europe

According to specialists, the demand for edible seaweeds in Europe, with its increasing appetite for supplements, a rise in health-consciousness, as well as a growing need for alternative proteins, is now increasing.

At this year's Seagriculture EU Conference special Innovation Awards, where some of the world's latest seaweed innovations were highlighted with new approaches to cultivating seaweed, the University of Gothenburg, for example, presented a sustainable way for large-scale biomass production. This is said to bring several advantages to the emerging European seaweed market.

SAMS Enterprise, a seaweed industry facility from the UK, also received an award for their work on The Seaweed Academy (TSA). Through its training, education, and business development, TSA too intends to enable growth of the sector and particularly of Europe’s position as a global innovation leader in this field.


The Seagriculture Conference takes place in both Europe as well as the US. The next Seagriculture Conference USA 2022 is set to take place from 7 and 8 September 2022 in Maine, USA, where experts will focus on seaweed aquaculture in the USA, and when seaweed innovators from North and South America have an opportunity to compete for the Innovation Award. To find out more, click here to read about it in our Classifieds.

Be the change: Some of the exhibitors at Seagriculture EU Conference 2022

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