Regulatory & Compliance

Can Seaweed Change Our Food Supply?

Seaweed in the ocean. Exponent helps clients preserve and protect natural resources.

Navigating global regulatory hurdles for novel products

The founders of OCEANIUM are on a mission to bring seaweed as an environmentally sustainable source of positive nutrition into the food supply at a new scale, and Exponent is providing crucial scientific and regulatory guidance to help the startup take this mission to market.  Based in Scotland, OCEANIUM's team of "seaweed evangelists" develop and produce seaweed-based products for people health and planet health.

The Challenge

With livestock production contributing heavily (about 14.5% in 2021) to anthropomorphic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the need for alternative food solutions that can reverse GHG climate impact trends while providing safe, nutritious, and affordable foods for the world's growing population is mounting.

 OCEANIUM's seaweed evangelists aim to accomplish this through the utilization of seaweed, a powerful marine resource — for everything from animal protein substitutes to functional food ingredients to bioactives for supplements, cosmetics, and seaweed-based materials. Their innovative and highly technical biorefinery process works toward extracting every ounce of goodness out of sustainably farmed seaweed — and their ambitions  have earned them grant funding and investments from leading impact investors. 

When it came to taking their ideas to market, OCEANIUM needed a partner with global expertise in food and cosmetic science, product safety, product formulations, regulations, and functional claims validation to support them along the way.  

Exponent's MULTIDISCIPLINARY Solution  

Led by scientists in our Chemical Regulation & Food Safety practice, Exponent's support of OCEANIUM also leveraged expertise from our cross-disciplinary teams to answer key questions about each seaweed extract. Were any regulatory actions required in the proposed markets? Did any existing literature support beneficial claims in intended applications? What additional research and testing was required?

 Through detailed research, our team provided science-based answers to each of these questions. We then created recommendations for regional market entry, based on the market opportunity and regulatory hurdles and identified additional research needs to validate certain health claims. 

Exponent's Impact

With a science-based assessment overlaid with market regulatory context in hand, OCEANIUM is actively progressing toward commercialization. The startup is now pursuing  the required primary research to support unique claims that maximize the value of their products for their commercial partners.  

Exponent is continuing to partner with OCEANIUM in their journey to optimize the use of seaweed as a valuable marine resource for food, cosmetics, and other sectors.