Food producers invited to cook up new ideas with seaweed | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Food producers invited to cook up new ideas with seaweed

From seaweed brownies to seaweed kombucha, the sky is the limit in this USC kitchen.

Scientists from the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Food and Agribusiness Network are inviting local producers to invent new food and drink products for the $20 billion global seaweed industry, starting with a workshop.

Dr Libby Swanepoel from the USC Seaweed Research Group said each participant who attended the workshop would receive a dried whole product, a milled product, a salt product and a ‘de-salted’ dried product.

“From there, it’s up to them what they come up with,” she said.

“The whole idea is to encourage new discoveries so that industry can innovate, and we as researchers can learn how to support them by producing more of what they need,” she said.

“Working with the fantastic food and beverage innovators from the Food and Agribusiness Network will provide us with unique insights into market perceptions”.

Dr Swanepoel and Professor Nick Paul would use the workshop to showcase how seaweed is used well in the Pacific Islands, discuss the nutritional and health benefits of seaweed, and offer taste tests along the way.

“Seaweed is approaching a $20 billion global industry and it continues to grow,” Professor Nick Paul said.

“Queensland is in a strong position to capitalise on this with USC’s seaweed expertise, our vast coastlines, a research centre at Bribie Island and the aquaculture infrastructure to support growth.

“For export and for local markets, Queensland has a huge future ahead, and we look forward to using our research to support that future and the opportunities for jobs and economic growth and recovery that come with it.

“Seaweed offers so many benefits, as a food source for people, as an immune booster for animals, for restoring the biodiversity of our coastlines, and storing carbon.”  

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