FOOD MANUFACTURING'S SECRET INGREDIENT: MARA SEAWEED
No matter how far we advance in food science and technology, isn't it amazing how the most prized flavours around are still those we dig from the ground or harvest from the depths of the seabed? Nature knows best. That's why seaweed is the ingredient of the past, of the present, and of the future. Seaweed is rapidly gaining momentum across food wholesalers and chefs alike.
Mara is used in a variety of ways across the food and drink manufacturing sector, whether it’s in a powder, a flake, a strip or a powder.
WHY SWAP SEAWEED FOR SALT?
If salt tastes so good, why should we try anything else? Because salt is often hidden in the food we eat, it’s very easy to overconsume: eating more sodium than our bodies actually need on a daily basis.
Sodium is vital for certain functions in your body, but there’s also a lot of evidence which shows too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.
As the government threaten to introduce sugar and salt taxes to combat the country’s rising levels of obesity, should manufacturers be looking for a healthier alternative to traditional sodium? We think so!
The National Food Strategy Part 2 has been published, revealing proposals for a sugar and salt tax on all processed products, except ingredients for home cooking, and on foods sold through foodservice channels. So with increased costs on the horizon, food manufacturers could benefit from the taste and health benefits seaweed can bring.
HEALTHIER CHOICES FOR CONSUMERS
And with consumers looking to reduce their salt intake and make healthier choices, seaweed as a salt replacement has huge potential. Its abundance of flavour comes from its rich combination of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and high concentration of umami (the fifth human taste) which allows manufacturers to swap some ingredients such as meat and or salt while retaining the same great taste consumers are used to.
The crispbread is flecked green and purple, with delicate umami flavours of the sea, then topped with toasted sesame seeds for a Japanese twist.
WHAT MANUFACTURES ARE ALREADY USING MARA SEAWEED
While many chefs and restaurants are already loving Mara’s flavour profiles, using seaweed in their iconic venues up and down the UK - there are a few other places you can taste Mara in action.
EASY BEAN CRISPBREADS
Easy Bean uses Mara to add flavour to their premium crackers while cutting down on the salt content. Their recipe uses a nutritious blend of native seaweed which is used to season the new Seaweed & Sesame Crispbread. This makes these crackers delicious as well as a good source of iodine - an ingredient that so many of us are deficient in.
BLUE APRON USA
With meal kit services such as Blue Apron becoming more popular and diners developing a taste for Asian flavours, Mara Seaweed was able to create a bespoke western twist on a traditional Japanese seasoning, Furikake for their customers.
M&S SMOKED SALMON WITH MUSCAVADO SUGAR AND MARA DULSE
Mara seasonings are the perfect accompaniment to fresh fish and seafood, and no one knows this more than M&S. They use prized Mara Dulse to enhance the flavour of their Scottish smoked salmon, with the umami richness perfectly balancing out the gentle sweetness of the muscavado sugar. Mara also boosts the nutrients included in this dish making it healthy and tasty, a win for consumers and food manufacturers like M&S.