At the same time, seaweeds can provide other (ecosystem) services (such as coastal protection, food provisioning) and can be adopted in many products. In fact, seaweed biomass is highly versatile and can be used from textiles to plastic-substitutes, from highly nutritious human food to animal feed, supporting dynamic and innovative industries in the UK and abroad.
I recently completed a review of the seaweed industries in the UK (Seaweed Industries and Products in the UK: A Brief Review | SpringerLink) and I was fascinated by the variety of products I discovered. The “food and drink” industry is currently the main target of seaweed-focused businesses in the UK. Seaweeds can be bought as dry whole leaf or flakes, but can also be enjoyed in crackers, snacks, sauces, and flavoured popcorns, nuts, oil, cheese, chocolate, beer, and gin! It is not just about the humami flavour; seaweeds are a low-fat, rich source of nutrients, have satiating properties and can be used as salt substitute.