Standards for Seaweed Production in Australia
Venus Shell Systems Pty. Ltd.
Project code: PRJ-009961
Project stage: Closed
Project start date: Friday, May 29, 2015
Project completion date: Monday, January 30, 2017
National Priority: NEPI-RD&E to generate benefit across several plant industries
There is growing market activity of seaweed products in Australia, especially for food and health applications. Thus the importations of seaweed crops are increasing, while the commercial cultivation of seaweed in Australia has not yet been realised. However progress in production has been made, and aligns with the Cultivated Seaweed Industry R&D strategy outlined in Lee (2010) (Cultivated Seaweed and Seaweed Industry Development in Australia. RIRDC report 10/164). Specifically Venus Shell Systems Ltd. has established a pilot production facility that has proven itself to be scalable and technically viable as well as demonstrated quality biomass. Now the immediate barriers to unlocking vertical chain progression and markets are a lack of standards for quality assurance and certification; especially as a new crop without any precedent under Australian regulations.
This project will identify the suite of technical and process standards and quality control for the certification of the first commercially cultivated Australian seaweed biomass across food, health, feed and biotechnology applications. The suite of approvals that need to be targeted to establish Australia as a global leader in seaweed biomass quality assurance include: FSANZ, GRAS (Generally recognised as Safe), CAS – chemcial standards, INCI – cosmetics standards, Aust L – ingredient standard for therapeutic goods, as well as the suite of ISO standards in quality management systems for the design and manufacture of seaweed biomass and manufactured products thereof, as well as any HCCAP protocol required.
New and Emerging Plant Industries
Venus Shell Systems Pty. Ltd.
The main R&D Objective is to develop standards and certification protocols for high quality seaweed biomass produced in Australia. This will be a global first and place Australia as a leader of quality seaweed product. These standards will open the door to a vertical chain and market delivery across three priority sectors; food, health and feed products. This opportunity could place Australia at the highest level of Quality Assurance that exceeds anything in the current global seaweed biomass industry. Although Australia is the new producer in the $6B global seaweed industry, our opportunity is to set the pace as the highest standard in terms of species control, quality control, food and health safety standards. This will facilitate access to the growing global demand and market opportunities; the current major barrier to investment and launching of commercial production operations. The main objectives will be achieved by
– Identifying the full suite of standards required of an Australian cultivated seaweed biomass across markets for food, feed and health applications for domestic and export markets (e.g. harvest, drying, processing and packaging systems that influence the biomass characteristics and safety).
– Undertaking the testing and process design requirements to achieve high, consistency and safety standards.
– Seeking certification from the relevant regulatory authorities in relation to this first cultivated biomass in Australia (e.g. FSANZ, TGA, NICNAS, Aust-L, HCCAPP etc.)
– Deliver 100% Australian QA seaweed biomass products that are commercial ready.