Of the 16 million tonnes of seaweed produced every year around the world almost 80% is used in human foodstuffs, representing an economic output of 8 billion USD. Europe has been using seaweed for industrial purposes for centuries and the use of algae in human foodstuffs and health foods is now a growing sector. In Brittany in particular, edible algae constitute a significant potential resource that fits with the region's economic development strategy.
Increasing interest among consumers has been encouraged by the numerous nutritional properties of such types of seaweed which have a very different composition to land-based plants. Food safety regulations currently in place include a list of algal species and groups authorised for human consumption, as well as recommendations on acceptable limits of certain contaminants, i.e. metals, and constituents, i.e. iodine. The SUDALAB project will analyse and treat contaminants contained in edible seaweeds to ensure product conformity and to guarantee the industry's economic development.
SUDALAB is preparing to standardise control methods and validate related reference materials to provide quality assurance measurement protocols for edible seaweeds. Specially devised treatment processes will be perfected to reduce contaminant content while preserving nutritional properties. These will be accompanied by monitoring of the natural lifecycle of seaweed. The resulting data will be matched with historical data collected over the past 20 years to highlight long-term trends.
It is anticipated that the project's principal outcome will be the ability to control economic and health risks associated with contaminants and iodine in edible seaweeds. Managing these risks will enable companies to develop innovative products that are keenly sought by the health-food market. Given the strength of the agri-business sector in Brittany and the significant potential of edible seaweeds, existing businesses could, as a result, be the driving force for economic development and job creation in the coastal region, helping maintain its leading position in these long-standing activities.

  • - Aléor, Lézardrieux
  • - Algues & Mer, Ouessant
  • - Algues Services, Roscoff
  • - Biocéan, Roscoff
Research center
  • - Centre d'étude et de Valorisation des Algues (CEVA), Pleubian  [Project Developer]
Overall budget
338 K€