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Oceanium unveils clean-label methylcellulose replacement from seaweed

November 28, 2022

Oceanium, a biorefinery processor of seaweed, has announced the launch of its first product, a clean-label one-to-one replacement for methylcellulose: Ocean Health Fiber.

Methylcellulose is a synthetic ingredient modified from cellulose, widely used in plant-based meats as a binder and emulsifier, that is commonly identified as an ingredient to replace for its synthetic composition.

The new product delivers improved moisture retention and water binding ability, as well as texture, viscosity, and gelling capabilities to finished products. It delivers equivalent functional properties and enhanced organoleptic characteristics that may reduce the need for added salt.

Oceanium's in-house food scientists and B2B collaborators have already tested and proved its versatility in plant-based meats as well as several additional applications, including gluten-free breads and beverages.

Ocean Health Fiber contains 69% dietary fiber, made up of both soluble and insoluble fibers, and a mixture of proteins and minerals. OCEAN HEALTH Fiber has a unique umami taste which can provide interesting flavor dimensions to the finished product.

Ocean Health Fiber will be commercially available Q1 2023 and samples are now available for mission-aligned brands seeking to integrate more sustainable and functional ingredients into their products.

Oceanium is on a mission to create products for people and planet health and to drive systemic change by making the market for sustainably farmed seaweed.

Its business model is based on proprietary biorefinery technology which extracts maximum value from sustainably farmed seaweed; a regenerative, resilient, and nutrient-rich marine plant and the ultimate sustainable biomass for plant-based food, nutraceuticals and materials markets.

Sustainably farmed seaweed provides jobs along rural coastal regions, mitigates eutrophication by absorbing nitrogen and phosphorous, increases biodiversity by protecting nursery grounds and sea beds. Seaweed farms do not need cleared land, fresh water, insecticide or fertilizer.

By enabling the seaweed farming industry, Oceanium's biorefinery model ensures that infrastructure is in place for seaweed to play an important role in future food security and supply.

Seaweed can support improved nutrition and diets as a source of fiber, plant-based protein and nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B12, and K.

The global dietary fiber market is projected to increase at a CAGR of over 11.1% to reach US$21.6 billion in 2030 and with consumer demand for sustainable products increasing, more than 82% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a food product containing sustainably produced ingredients.

“Ocean Health Fiber is a unique product with great functionality due to its natural combination of insoluble and soluble polysaccharides," commented Dr Iain Moore, Food Scientist, Oceanium. "This gives it a significant thickening effect at both low and high temperatures, similar to methylcellulose. It is also a very effective water binder which can increase the moistness of breads, particularly in gluten-free recipes.”

“We are thrilled to be launching one of our first products - Ocean Health Fiber," added Karen Scofield Seal, CEO & Co-Founder, Oceanium. "This is a very exciting step for Oceanium, as it provides an excellent opportunity to partner with companies on a novel ingredient. We look forward to working closely with the seaweed farming community and mission-aligned end users to build a sustainable value chain that benefits people health and planet health.”

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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