US – American global food corporation Cargill has unveiled its first seaweed powder offering with an objective of accentuating the smooth and creamy textures in dairy, while offering gelling and thickening properties.

The powder offering within the WavePure ADG line – WavePure ADG 8250 is entirely made from Gracilaria red seaweed, which is considered a traditional food ingredient in the EU and is perceived as a highly nutritious food thanks to its high fiber and low calorie content.

The launch comes at time when consumer health priorities are narrowing industry’s focus on seaweed and algae ingredients, including kelp, carrageenan, konbu, wakame and nori.

The umami taste from these extracts is being leveraged to impart an authentic seafood flavor in products with a salt reduction positioning.

Seaweed is utilized by plant-based seafood manufacturers like Good Catch, which integrates the ingredient in its proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans).

“Gracilaria is one the most readily available seaweed species in Asia, and one of the seaweeds most widely consumed as food globally for centuries,” Matthias Bourdeau, marketing manager of texturizers and specialties at Cargill Europe said.

In addition to its organoleptic designation, Cargill said that its new seaweed powder is produced without chemical modification, which is an approach that keeps all the natural components of seaweed intact.

Additionally, there are no other ingredients used other than seaweed in WavePure seaweed powder.

After harvesting, Bourdeau notes that the subsequent phases of production are simply sorting of the seaweed, washing, heating, drying, grinding into a powder, blending and packaging.

Bourdeau further notes that notes that WavePure brings limited color and flavor deviatin, giving it an advantage over traditional alternatives that impact on taste, odor and color in the end product.

He however noted that the one of the challenges of the new ingredient was that, it being a natural ingredient, some of the seaweed specifications can potentially vary from one harvest to the next.

In addition to launching a new seaweed powder, Cargill is aiming to raise the environmental sustainability standard of all its seaweed ingredients, including WavePure.

The US food company also plans to extend its ADG range to other applications outside dairy in forthcoming launches.

The company is aiming to consolidate WavePure ingredients within its Red Seaweed Promise program, which leverages sustainable seaweed production practices with the aim of supporting producer livelihoods and local communities.

It has expressed a further commitment to source 60 percent sustainable red seaweed by 2025.

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