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16 APR 2021
Yesterday, April 15 , was the Cooking with Algae event, organized by the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA)

With a wide range of participants from different algae backgrounds and interests and over 13 countries represented (Brazil, the Phillipines, Canada, Slovenia to name a few), the workshop was a very interesting event where a lot of knowledge was shared. There were scientists from various universities (Cambridge, Wageningen, Quebec, Almeria, ...), seaweed producers from various countries , producers looking at making their food products healthier by adding seaweed (less sodium, more nutrients), chefs looking at using seaweed in the kitchen of their restaurantas as well as a company manufacturing equipment to use with algae production/harvest. All participants briefly introduced themselves; it was good to be able to connect with people, be it via Zoom; an event like this would be much more difficult to organize, and a lot less sustainable, if we travelled to physically get together. The programme offered something of interest to all parcicipants, be it MICROalgae or the MACRO version, seaweed. 

Just in case you don't have time to read the complete post, we'll cover the conclusions first:

Areas that need developing / looking at: 
  • research to substantiate the health benefits of algae, 
  • (international) harmonization of food standards, iodine being mentioned as one of the main items where governments have different ideas of an acceptable level of intake, 
  • education of consumers how to use algae in cooking; restaurant chefs can play a big role in this. 

The speakers: 
Prannie Rhatigan told about her 2 big 'loves': seaweed and medicine (Prannie is a medical doctor) and how she was able to combine them during the corona pandemic. She has a life-time experience of harvesting and cooking with seaweed and has shared her favourite recipes in 2 books.
Jörg Ullmann is an expert on and producer of micro-algae. A way was found to replace butter and eggs in recipes using micro-algae. The result? Less fat and allergens, fewer calories and EXCELLENT TASTE.
Donald Deschagt has been using seaweed in the kitchen of his restaurant for several years now. He banned ordinary salt and is using seaweed instead. Some of the products are so popular he has made them available via his shop. The sea sausage is very popular, containing 40% seaweed (and 40% less salt).
Seamore's filosophy is to improve on existing products, obviously using seaweed to do so. It started with 'pasta' (himanthalia elongata), now there are also 'bacon' (Dulse), wraps, chips and bread. And more products will follow. 
Buggypower are changing the food, feed, health and well-being paradigms through marine microalgae and with certainty that great changes can start microscopically. Not only are algae good to EAT, micro-algae are also used in the  Bluevert skincare products. 
PortoMuinos' chef gave a cooking demo: 3 easy-to-make and delicicous recipes using seaweed (salad, scrambled egg and risotto). On YouTube you can see Tini Otero at work (recorded for a different occasion). More inspriration on the website
Mara is aiming to bring seaweed back into use (seaweed went out of fashion) - with seaweed seasoning improving flavour of food and providing unbeatable health benefits to users. 


Obviously this is a very brief overview of what was mentioned yesterday. Do you want to make sure you don't miss further algae events organized by the EABA? Follow them on LinkedIn. Or better still The general objective of the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) is to promote mutual interchange and cooperation in the field of biomass production and use, including biofuels uses and all other utilisations. It aims at creating, developing and maintaining solidarity and links between its Members and at defending their interests at European and international level. Its main target is to act as a catalyst for fostering synergies among scientists, industrialists and decision makers in order to promote the development of research, technology and industrial capacities in the field of Algae.