Seaweeds are one of our greatest health secrets - a true 'super' functional ingredient. It may seem surprising that marine plants could offer such a plethora of functions for one's health, well being and personal care. The benefits of seaweeds have been known for a long time and modern science is increasingly revealing and confirming biological activities and benefits of these under-appreciated marine plants.
Technically speaking, there are three major classes of seaweeds or "macroalgae" as referred to by scientists. These include green seaweeds (Chlorophyta), brown seaweeds (Phaeophyta) and the red seaweeds (Rhodophyta). Although all seaweeds use light and photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into useful energy to grow, they also contain a wide variety of additional light sensitive pigments enabling them to capture this light energy from the various depths of the water in which they live. It is the presence of these additional pigments that give seaweeds their wide range of colours.
Acadian Seaplants Limited offers a variety of premium brown and red seaweeds. The Specialty Ingredients Division has expertise in the harvesting and processing of wild seaweed species used in botanical and supplement applications. Each species has unique properties which make it suitable for specific commercial applications.
Each seaweed species grows in its own specific environment on the shoreline. The key factors determining distribution and horizontal banding on the shore include the amount of time the seaweeds are left uncovered by the tide, the depth of water the seaweed grows in at high tide and the degree of shelter from pounding waves provided by the shoreline. These micro-environments are often well defined and enable us to harvest specific seaweeds of optimal quality.
Even though dietary consumption of seaweeds in Western countries is gaining popularity, their primary use remains the production of hydrocolloids such as alginate, agar, and carrageenan, which finds commercial applications as various thickeners and gelling agents in various industries such as structured foods, toothpastes, dyes, paints, and medical growth media.
Numerous bioactive components have been identified in seaweeds in the recent past. These include a structurally diverse set of active biomolecules, such as carotenoids, terpenoids, polyphenols, sulphated polysaccharides, peptides, and carbohydrates that exhibit a range of biological properties, including antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor activities. With some additional research seaweeds have considerable potential to be much more widely used as raw material sources of natural biochemicals with wide-ranging medicinal and industrial uses.
For additional information on the three major classes of seaweeds... read more»
Acadian Seaplants dries freshly harvested seaweeds using a low temperature passive solar drying method. This low impact drying process ensures that the marine plants are handled in a manner that preserves their valuable constituents.
Our modern manufacturing facilities are equipped to grind or mill dried, raw materials to different particle sizes from granules to very fine flours. The different seaweed products come in various mesh profiles to accommodate our customer's applications.
Most of our botanical ingredients are packaged in industry-standard 20 kg (44 lb) and 25 kg (55 lb) bags. The company sells specialty ingredients products in bulk, wholesale to a worldwide network of distributors.
Our strict standards for excellence are enforced at every step in the operation. Superior quality starts with the initial harvesting of raw seaweed materials and extends to processing, manufacturing, packaging, delivery, and technical customer support.
Properly managed, wild seaweeds are a sustainable and rapidly renewable resource. Acadian Seaplants carefully oversees every step of harvesting to maintain the marine ecosystem and ensure a continued habitat for all species of both marine plants and animals. read more»
All of our Specialty Ingredients Division products are manufactured from select seaweeds which are hand-harvested by trained, experienced harvesters using specially designed harvesting tools. This process not only ensures that the highest quality of the selected seaweed species is harvested, but that the procedure is also gentle on the ecosystem.
Acadian Seaplants' processing facility holds an organic certification from Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. The operation is compliant with the OC/PRO Organic Standard, the Canadian Organic Standard, EEC Regulation 2092/91, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) and the Quebec Organic Reference Standard (CARTV).
The certification is based on the evaluation of an application containing the organic handling plan, the results of an inspection of the operation, ingredient supplier records and such tests or other information deemed essential by the certifying agent. To maintain the certification, an annual update of the organic production/handling plan, an annual inspection and annual evaluation are required.
All the specialty ingredients are under the supervision and certification of the Kashruth Council of Canada and are kosher and pareve when bearing COR 357.