9.9 C
Byron Shire
July 24, 2021

Research takes the vegan option to a new level

Latest News

John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies

John Cornell, a character credited with initiating major change in Byron Bay after his purchase of the Beach Hotel, has died at his home in Byron Bay, aged 80, surrounded by his wife Delvene Delaney and family.

Other News


Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Danny Wakil you are wrong to claim that people do not have a ‘balanced view’...

Criticism of Ballina Cr Cadwallader’s water election tactics

The Ballina Environment Society (BES) has accused Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader of politicising water security by using ‘the Dunoon Dam as one of her key concerns in her bid for mayor in September’s local government elections’.

Male incontinence bin trial at Banora Point Community Centre

Highlighting the issue of gender equality at the Tweed Shire Council meeting Councillor Katie Milne put forward a notice of motion for a trail continence bin for men at Banora Point Community Centre.

Lulu’s Café still open after five COVID-19 visits

Rumours that popular Lulu’s Café in Mullumbimby was ordered to close due to non-compliance with public health orders weren’t true, the owner said Monday afternoon.

Pfizer available on North Coast, health authorities say

Health authorities on the Northern Rivers say the region now has a supply of the Pfizer Covid 19 vax.

Lismore Hospital redevelopment site temporarily closed after COVID-19 exposure risk

Work at the Lismore Base Hospital Stage 3C redevelopment site was temporarily paused late on Tuesday 20 July over COVID exposure risks.

A project by Flinders University will see their Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development fishing for new vegan ideas.

Putting innovative Australian marine bioproducts into tasty vegan food ideas is the goal of a new project at the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development (CMBD).

Seaweed is the way of a new vegan future.

The project is part of a growing global trend to fathom the sea world for vegan foods. Australia’s vast shoreline and pristine waters hold a myriad of untapped, renewable  bioresources an opportunities to enter the international marine bioproducts market estimated to be worth more than $175 billion a year.

CMBD director Professor Wei Zhang, who is also Leader / Research Director of the Marine Bioproducts, says that iIn South Australia, researchers have worked with the Australian Kelp Products for over a decade, developing new products and processes to put beach-cast seaweeds into value-added commodities.

A booming vegan market 

Now the innovative partnership is eyeing the booming vegan market for organic, eco-friendly nutritional goods to produce new seaweed-derived ingredients and functional food products.

While countries such as Japan, China and South Korea dominate the market for edible whole seaweeds, Western consumers are becoming increasingly fond of seaweed food products.

‘Southern Australian waters host one of the highest diversities of macroalgae (seaweeds) in the world,’ says Professor Zhang. ‘There are abundant species such as brown algae in the genera Ecklonia, Durvillaea, Macrocystis and Sargassum, and green algae including Ulva spp. (sea lettuce), Monostroma spp. and Caulerpa spp. (seagrapes), used to enrich soups, salads and other culinary treats around the world.’

Vegan ingredients from seaweed.

With macroalgal preparations and extracts now a common sight in health-food stores and pharmacies, Professor Zhang says their bioactive compounds can have strong antioxidant effects and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as iodine, vitamin K, B vitamins, iron, and zinc which can promote gut, skin and brain health.

The new Flinders University Innovation Partnership Seed grant-funded project with Australian Kelp Products Pty Ltd (AKP) seeks to adapt the active compounds of local seaweeds into booming industry pathway of healthy function foods for vegan and organic food consumers.

Vegan market annual growth rate of 9.6%

The global vegan market has been forecast to rise from $US12.69 billion in 2018 to $US22 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.6% built on rising awareness of the benefits of following a vegan diet.

Founded at Beachport on South Australia’s Limestone Coast region in 1994, AKP holds the only seaweed sustainable development licence in mainland Australia. The company produces organic fertiliser and cattle feed via a system able to expand into higher value materials for foodstuffs, industrial and medical products.

The company’s Chief Executive Mr Leo Lin says the project aims to provide AKP with the scientific expertise needed to attract investors and other partners, to produce the eco- and vegan-friendly seaweed functional foods and ingredients for both domestic and global markets.

The Marine Bioproducts CRC Bid wants to develop the third generation of Australian high-value marine bioindustry, building on the first generation of fisheries and the second generation of aquaculture. Australia’s emerging marine bioproducts sector has the potential to become a globally competitive industry, researchers say.

The long-term partnership between Flinders University researchers and the macroalgal manufacturing industry also hopes to support the development of new 3D-printable alginate-based bioinks from local seaweeds such as Ecklonia radiata (E. radiata) and Durvillaea potatorum (D. potatorum) to make medical quality 3D-printing biomaterials – also in rising demand around the world.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. There are several species of edible seaweed that must be harvested very conservatively (no picking the holdfasts) in the Ballina region:-
    Green: Ulva lactuca (tastes like fine lettuce) and Codium fragile (boiled peas);
    Brown: Laminaria (kelp, as in top picture) and Eucharia; Padina pavonia (tough, crisp fans as texture)
    Red: Hypnea (soft, like spaghetti) and Gracilaria verrucosa/millardetii
    All are called “sea vegetables” in the Pacific where they are regularly consumed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Editorial – Free fi fo dumb?

Hans Lovejoy, editor Scientists have warned that now the UK has come out of lockdown on ‘freedom day’ (July 19), it will lead to ‘a...

Snakes monitor radioactive contamination

Ten years on from the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan – the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl – researchers are using Japanese rat snakes to measure radioactivity in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

Criticism of Ballina Cr Cadwallader’s water election tactics

The Ballina Environment Society (BES) has accused Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader of politicising water security by using ‘the Dunoon Dam as one of her key concerns in her bid for mayor in September’s local government elections’.

Old Byron Hospital DA on exhibition

Plans are finally in for the redevelopment of the old Byron Hospital that will facilitate its transformation into a much-needed community hub.