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Seagriculture 2018

7th International Seaweed Conference

6-7 November, Galway, Ireland

Meet your conference speakers

Stefan Kraan

Chief Scientific Officer, Aquaceuticals Ltd, IRL

"Seaweed and the EU; where do we stand"

Born in The Netherlands he graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Marine Biology at National University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He moved to Ireland to pursue a PhD on phylogenetics and aquaculture of edible seaweeds at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1998. He became manager of the Irish Seaweed Industry Organisation in 1998 and finished his PhD in 2001. He established the Irish Seaweed Centre in 2001, a dedicated R&D centre for seaweed-based research and development, which was launched in 2001. After managing the seaweed centre for 9 years, Dr Kraan resigned from University life in 2009 to pursue and develop some commercial ideas using seaweeds for a variety of purposes amongst them functional food ingredients for fish farming and novel algae cultivation systems for biofuel production. Dr Kraan is currently Co-Founder and Scientific Director of Aquaceuticals Ltd a company producing and marketing seaweed based functional ingredient and extracts for human food product and consumption. Furthermore he is involved in the development of large-scale seaweed biomass cultivation programs for the bio-refineries and other nutraceutical applications. Dr Kraan is currently president of the International Seaweed Association. His main fields of expertise are aquaculture of seaweeds, sustainable development of algal resources, industrial applications of seaweeds and usage of seaweeds in human consumption, biotechnology and biomedicine.


Seaweed use for food and feed, their status and levels of nutrients and metals is currently a bit of a mess as highlighted in Dominquez (2013). The last decade has created many opportunities to address public health issues through diet and lifestyle in which seaweeds are playing an interesting and growing role resulting in a higher demand, leading to cultivation, certification and sustainability.

Seaweeds or their constituents have great potential as products in the functional food markets and as food ingredients and many novel products based on macroalgae have entered the market in recent years. However, this brings also rules, standards and regulations. If we look at the current EU legislation (EC 710/2009 and EC 834/2007) there is standards in place but inadequate or outdated or not applicable.  Companies producing seaweed for food and feed need to comply with legislation like the novel food list and threshold levels currently in place, but on what are these standards based? In this presentation legislation and challenges at EU level will be evaluated together with the novel food category. Ingredients (like fucoidan) extracted from currently accepted edible seaweeds also need to undergo authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation. Strangely legislation on metals is only applicable to seaweed use in food supplement and not as whole food and needs addressed sooner than later. The challenges around this will be examined together with some outdated issues around feed use of seaweeds such as arsenic levels or iodine.  Fortunately the European Commission for standardisation is addressing these issues for algae in several workgroups and sub committees in order to arrive with one set of standards and threshold levels for seaweeds to be applied for the food, feed and cosmetics sector based on real time values.


Food, feed, legislation, metals, standards