Seaweed has gained significant attention recently due to its renewability, remarkable properties, and diverse applications. Scientists and researchers are uncovering new and innovative ways that highlight the immense potential of seaweed in various fields and industries. Its fast growth, eco-friendly nature, and nutritional richness also make seaweed an appealing choice for tackling urgent global issues and advancing a greener, more sustainable world.
Here are some of the latest applications and advancements in the world of seaweed:
1. Bioplastics: A Greener Alternative
Traditional plastics derived from fossil fuels pose significant environmental challenges due to their non-biodegradable nature. To address this issue, the bioplastics industry is actively seeking sustainable alternatives. Seaweed-based bioplastics have emerged as a potential solution.
Most seaweeds contain polysaccharides, such as agar and carrageenan, which can be extracted and used to produce biodegradable films, packaging materials, and even 3D printing filaments. These seaweed-based bioplastics offer similar functionalities to traditional plastics but without the negative environmental impact. They are renewable, compostable, and help to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Thus, industries can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future by incorporating seaweed-based bioplastics into their production and packaging processes.
2. Cosmetics: Nature’s Beauty Secret
With consumers increasingly seeking natural and sustainable beauty solutions, incorporating seaweed-based ingredients has gained popularity in the cosmetics industry. Seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can nourish and hydrate the skin. Some varieties also have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, improving skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and promoting a healthy complexion.
In haircare products, seaweed extracts have been shown to help strengthen hair follicles, prevent hair loss, and promote hair growth, while also improving the overall texture and shine of the hair. Additionally, they provide nourishment to the scalp, contributing to healthier and more vibrant hair.
3. Animal Feed: A Nutritious Option
Seaweed-based feed additives have been shown to positively affect livestock growth, gut health, and immune function. They can also help to reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals, which is a benefit to environmental sustainability.
In aquaculture, seaweed-based feeds provide essential nutrients to farmed fish and shellfish, which can improve their overall growth, survival rates, and quality. They also reduce the reliance on fishmeal and fish oil derived from wild-caught fish, addressing concerns about overfishing and depletion of marine resources.
4. Agriculture and Soil Health: Nurturing the Earth
When applied as fertilizers or soil conditioners, seaweed extracts and meals help to provide essential nutrients and bioactive compounds that can enhance soil microbial activity and nutrient availability. These products help promote root development, and can increase plant resistance to stressors. The lack of other chemical additives or fillers means any runoff is more natural and potentially less damaging.
Explore the Potential of Seaweed With North American Kelp
Leap into the world of sustainable solutions by exploring the transformative benefits of seaweed! North American Kelp’s premium kelp meals, powders, and extracts can help you seamlessly transition to greener practices. With us as your trusted partner, you can rely on a greener, more sustainable option without compromising the environment.
We get questions regarding the different certifications and grades of kelp meal all the time. Organic vs. all-natural, feed grade vs. soil grade…it can be difficult to navigate and choose the best option. The graphic below should help to demystify the differences between a certified organic and all-natural product.
Looking for more information? You can read more about our feed-grade options here, or our soil-grade options here.
We are incredibly honored and humbled to be the recipient of this year’s Exporter of the Year award through the Maine International Trade Center.
We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Maine International Trade Center, who have been incredibly supportive since we became members. A special thank you to their team for always answering our questions, no matter how crazy or out-there, and providing us with the necessary guidance to expand our exports.
We would also like to thank our partners, including Camden National Bank, Key Bank, and EXIM, for their trust and support throughout our journey. We have been exporting since the 80s, and their financing and insurance services have been vital in helping us to navigate the complex world of international trade.
Without the Maine Small Business Administration and Maine Small Business Development Center we would not be able to grow our business. Their resources and expertise in assisting with all aspects of our business have been invaluable over the years.
Finally, it is with deepest gratitude we thank Robert Morse, owner of North American Kelp. From a humble start drying hand-harvested seaweed on rocks, his vision, leadership, and dedication have led the company to where it is today. Without his unwavering commitment to the business, we would not be receiving this prestigious award.
The Exporter of the Year award is a testament to the dedication of our team, our partners, and the support from organizations mentioned previously. We look forward to continuing to contribute to Maine’s economy through our export efforts.
For more information on the award winners and MITC, visit the following pages below:
Recently, seaweed extract has been increasingly embraced as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative or addition to chemical fertilizers. It is natural, and can be an organic source (if harvested from organic ocean sectors) of essential minerals, vitamins, and trace elements that foster healthy plant development and enrich soil quality.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about seaweed extract in the horticulture and agriculture industries.
Seaweed Extract in Agriculture and Horticulture Products
Seaweed extracts are widely recognized and utilized in horticulture and agriculture. They are frequently applied to vegetables, fruit, turf, trees, ornamentals, and flower crops to help fortify frost resistance and can facilitate seed germination.
Most seaweed extracts employed in agriculture come from brown seaweed, especially Ascophyllum nodosum, which is abundant in the intertidal region of the Maine, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, and Norway. Brown seaweeds contain substances that can aid in boosting plant resistance to different environmental pressures, such as drought, salt, and extreme temperatures.
Seaweed Extract Products
Most products are offered in both organic-use (OMRI) and non-organic variations. OMRI-listed seaweed extracts undergo a stringent certification process to meet the required standards. Moreover, the raw materials utilized in producing organic use seaweed extracts must be approved for organic use, and the extraction process must be free of synthetic chemicals and other harmful substances.
On the other hand, products that do not have an organic label may incorporate synthetic chemicals, preservatives, or additives. These products are still widely used, however, they are incompatible with organic farming or gardening practices.
The products are normally available in liquid or soluble powder forms. The liquid form is popular due to its versatility and ease of use. It can be sprayed straight onto the plant or mixed with irrigation water. Meanwhile, soluble powder products are designed to dissolve in water for easier application. Both options are suitable for large-scale farming or gardening operations.
Types of Application Methods
Seaweed extract products can be applied to plants and crops through various methods, such as irrigation or foliar. Irrigation refers to blending seaweed extract with water and administering it to the soil or root zone through irrigation systems. This approach enables the plants to consume the advantageous components via their roots, which can foster root development.
Foliar application is a spraying method of applying seaweed extract directly to the plant’s leaves. The plant absorbs the beneficial compounds through the leaves, improving the plant’s ability to withstand stress.
Partner With North American Kelp for High-Quality Seaweed Extracts
North American Kelp is a trustworthy supplier of seaweed extracts that are sustainably sourced and responsibly produced. Our products provide a rich and natural source of essential minerals and vitamins that benefit plants. If you would like to learn more about our products, please visit our Seaweed Products page.