Process project

What is the project about? 

Investigate the effect of seaweed processing on iodine and heavy metal content in seaweed

Why is this important? 

Previous research conducted by Wageningen Food Safety Research and North Sea Farmers  (Pilot Food Safety, 2018 –2020) has shown that the measured levels of iodine and heavy metals in fresh Dutch Ulvaand Saccharina seaweed require further attention. Products containing seaweeds with high levels of contaminants such as heavy metals and iodine can form a barrier to the food safety and further market development.

However, there are a number of examples from literature showing that the concentrations of heavy metals and in particular iodine can decrease during the production process, for example by heating or blanching the seaweed. Within this research, analyses will be performed on Dutch Ulva and Saccharina seaweed before and after various processing steps, in order to determine the possible changes in concentrations of iodine and heavy metals during the entire process.


What are the objectives? 

  • Determine whether and to what extent the levels of contaminants in the final seaweed products have decreased compared to the levels in the fresh seaweed as a result of the production process
  • Investigated whether there are possibilities to reduce the levels of contaminants in seaweed products by means of process changes.


What do we do in this project? 

We will mainly act as coordinator of the project. Therfore we establish and maintain contact with the cooperating parties  and we plan and organise the sample collections


What are the results so far? 

Sample collection has started this summer and the samples are delivered to Wageningen Food Safety research. After all the analyses have been performed, the results are shared and published in a report.


Who else are involved? 

Ministry of Agriculture, Wageningen Food Safety research 


Budget: €19.000 
Time: April 2021 - mid 2022
Contact:  Lotte