The seaweed startup has unveiled a non-synthetic food ingredient to replace methylcellulose

Oceanium has leveraged the industry-leading seaweed biorefining process to create Ocean Health Fiber. The new ingredient can replace methylcellulose, which is a synthetic ingredient modified from cellulose. Methylcellulose is widely used in plant-based meats as a binder and emulsifier – and is a prime candidate for ingredient replacement due to its synthetic structure.

According to the company, Ocean Health Fiber provides improved moisture-holding capacity and water-binding ability, as well as texture, viscosity, and gelling capabilities to finished products. Provides equivalent functional properties and improved sensory characteristics that may reduce the need for added salt.

“We are excited to launch one of our first products – Ocean health Fiber,” said Karen Scofield Seal, CEO and co-founder of Oceanium. “This is a very exciting step for Oceanium, as it provides an excellent opportunity to partner with companies on a new ingredient. We look forward to working closely With the seaweed farming community and end users aligned with the mission to build a sustainable value chain that benefits the health of people and the health of the planet.”

Oceanium’s in-house food scientists and B2B collaborators have tested and proven its versatility in plant-based meats as well as many ancillary applications, including gluten-free baking and beverages. The ingredient contains 69 percent of dietary fiber, consisting of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It also contains a blend of proteins and minerals while providing an umami taste that can add complex flavor dimensions to prepared food products.

Dr Ian Moore, Food Scientist at Oceanium, said, “Ocean Health Fiber is a unique product with remarkable functionality due to its natural combination of insoluble and soluble sugars. This gives it a significant thickening effect at both low and high temperatures, similar to methylcellulose It is also a very effective water-retarder and can increase the moisture of bread, especially in gluten-free recipes.”

Ocean Health Fiber will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2023, and samples will be made available to mission-aligned brands that want to incorporate more sustainable and functional ingredients into their portfolios.

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