Slideshow: Sea-fueled sustainable innovation

Slideshow: Sea-fueled sustainable innovation

KANSAS CITY — Kelp is cropping up in a variety of new product innovations, ranging in applications from pasta sauce to snacks to salt alternatives.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs reported the world is set to reach a population of 10 billion people by 2050, placing food systems under increasing pressure. Kelp offers a sustainable alternative to land-based foods.

The sea green requires no arable land, freshwater, fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides. It also filters excess carbon and nitrogen. Kelp contains a rich nutrient profile with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including zinc, calcium, folate, potassium and iron.

“Kelp is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet,” said Briana Warner, founder and chief executive officer of Atlantic Sea Farms, Biddeford, Maine, at Natural Products Expo East in October. “It’s full of magnesium, calcium, potassium and iodine.”

Last year, Atlantic Sea Farms grew 85% of the line-grown seaweed in the United States, which was grown by fisherman on small farms throughout the coast of Maine, according to Ms. Warner. The company uses the seaweed to make a variety of products, including Sea-Chi, a kelp-based kimchi.

Ocean’s Halo has capitalized on the varying applications of the sea vegetable to launch a portfolio of kelp-based products including broths, sauces and vegan noodle bowls.

The Plant Based Seafood Co. launched meat-free crab cakes, which feature a dusting of kelp from Atlantic Sea Farms.

“We create healthy and delicious seafood experiences that just so happen to be made from plants so close to the real thing that they will blow your mind, with a mission to relieve the pressure and burden that’s currently on our oceans with a vision of leaving our children with a vibrant beautiful planet,” said Monica Talbert, co-founder and CEO of The Plant Based Seafood Co. at Natural Products Expo East. “Kelp is a no-brainer.”

View the slideshow of kelp-based products.