Marigot moves into Iceland to meet seaweed demand

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Osteoporosis, Calcium carbonate

Marigot is expanding into Iceland with a new processing plant in
response to a rise in demand for its calcified seaweed ingredient.

The firm said the move followed "extensive research" into new locations and picked the Bidluador area in Iceland because of its "pristine"​ environment and quality of calcified seaweed. The facility has been developed in collaboration with the Westfjords Development Agency and will produce several thousands tonnes of calcified seaweed a year. The move reinforces the Irish firm's wish to expand - in the last few years the firm has been looking into further avenues for its seaweed derived organic mineral ingredient Aquamin. Marigot commercial manager David O'Leary said: "Icelandhas long been recognised for its purity, isolation and tranquillity. "As a supplier, our priority is to ensure the raw materials we gather are from the cleanest possible locations to guarantee a high quality product. Having found such conditionsin Iceland, we are delighted to extend our production facilitites to meet the burgeoning demand for natural mineral products." ​Last year the firm was looking to build up the use of its Aquamin calcium/mineral ingredient and have it added to soy milks. Tests commissioned by the company said people preferred the taste and texture of a soy drink containing Aquamin to others using calcium carbonate or tri-calcium phosphate. Calcified seaweed is found off the west coast of Europe and in Icealandic waters. The algae absorb minerals from the sea during its lifespan, leaving behind a calcified skeletal which can then be harvested. Calcium supplements are widely recommended to help prevent and manage osteoporosis, a bone-wasting disease that affects postmenopausal women in particular. Worldwide, the lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40 per cent, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, and in the next 50 years, the number of hip fractures for both men and women will more than double. Marigot is a nutraceutical company based in County Cork, which develops and produces natural mineral products for use in foods, such as cereals, processed meats and confectionery. In addition to Aquamin F, the company produces Aquamin S, a sea mineral source designed to enhance the nutritional profile of low pH foods such as carbonated beverages and frozen desserts, and Aquamin TG, a granulated natural calcium source for use in dietary supplements.

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