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How FlaVit Can Help Your Business

Seaweed is being used by a number of businesses to enhance their product generally as well as delivering specific solutions. It can be used to replace salt, enhance flavour, act as a preservative and boost nutritional content. It can be included in a wide range of products:

It is a suitable ingredient for all diets and can fit within the growing 'Free From' market as a proven safe product. Customers can have confidence in the reliability and consistency of the product which also has several ethical and sustainability claims and awards. It also has a number of possible marketing messages (please see the rest of the site, including the media and research links). A single ingredient which delivers multiple benefits.

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Salt is a current hot topic in healthy living and the food industry is under massive pressure to reduce it. The World Health Organisation, the Food Standards Agency in the UK, the Food and Drugs Administration in the US and a number of other consumer health authorities are all calling for a reduction of salt in food.

In 2012 the BBC reported that 'the salt intake in some bread is so high, it is killing 7,000 people a year'.

The Department of Health has introduced new targets for food producers to be achieved by December 2017. (https://responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/salt-reduction-onwards-and-downwards/)

However, the challenge is how to achieve this without making foods taste bland. Seaweed can be used as a partial or complete replacement with the added benefit of boosting flavour and enhancing nutritional quality. It has been successfully used in a wide variety of foods for flavour and functionality, including sausages, bread, ready meals, healthy ranges and superfood formulations, even being used to produce a healthy range of pizzas! Premier Foods (who own Batchelors, Sharwoods, Lloyd Grossman and many more) use it in their ranges. We recently presented to one of the biggest UK food supplier of ready meals (supplying a number of the major supermarkets) and they are now trialling it across their ranges (not just Eastern cuisine). This successful application is backed up by award winning research on taste acceptability and functional uses for preservative and antibacterial qualities.

Other salt substitutes are available on the market. Many are based on potassium chlorine but they are not suitable for use in all foods, sometimes leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. They are also perceived as additives – going against the increasingly demanded clean label approach.

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Improving the flavour of products is always a challenge to the food industry without resorting to salt, salt laden ingredients (anchovies, olives, bacon etc) or adding monosodium glutamate.

Seaweed acts to enhance existing flavours (rather than adding a flavour of its own) and the flavour profile works well in most foods due to its 'minerally' and umami flavours.. Its healthy glutamates brings out the 'unctousness' of food – offering a healthy alternative to MSG.

Seaweed has also been used to facilitate the production of low fat products (eg sausages), reducing fat in products whilst retaining moisture and consistency

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Health Benefits

Seaweed is highly nutritious and has a number of astounding health benefits (see media and research links). It has the widest profile of nutrients than any terrestrial food and is the most mineralised food on the planet.

Products with added seaweed pack a nutritional punch, delivered from a single ingredient. It is already used in nutritional supplements, smoothies, superfood mixes and therapeutic formulations. The distinct health benefits make it suitable in particular to food production in hospitals, schools and care homes – anywhere where food should be the best that it can be.

Age Concern commissioned a study with Newcastle University which showed that taste and smell deteriorate with age. This is particular relevance when considering the specific requirement of the elderly to have good nutrition when appetites naturally decrease, physical ability to cook wholesome food reduces, lack of incentive to eat when food is bland, etc

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Like salt, seaweed has preservative qualities and has been independently tested in a variety of foods. It has surpassed salt in terms of the inhibition of mould and bacterial growth in such products as breads, sausages and cheeses.

This shelf life extension has therefore been achieved without the addition of unnatural or undesirable additives.

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If we can help with any information, advice or product specifications, then please get in touch!

We have more information on the use of seaweed as a food in the UK market here.

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