Red seaweed Furcellaria lumbricalis , historically also known as Furcellaria Fastigiata. The drifting and attached forms of Furcellaria lumbricalis and Coccotylus truncatus form a loose-lying algal stratum in Kassari bay, Estonia, which is the most abundant community in the Baltic Sea. Furcellaria lumbricalis is a source of unique texturant – furcellaran. Among people, furcellaran is known as vegan gelatine.
Furcellaran can be used in many fields, offering alternative for other gums and texturing agents, also oil-based and non-sustainable ingredients.
We’ve gathered some articles for you to explore, these articles are written by independent scientists across the world and are not related to Est-Agar AS. However, articles should guide you through different opportunities in various industries. Collection of articles in this page is just a small amount of research that is carried out about furcellaran. If you are interested about certain topic or industry, that is not listed here, feel free to reach out to us. We always do our best to provide you necessary information.
According to our current knowledge Kassari bay red seaweed resources are the only ones left in the world industrially usable and we are licensed owners of the quota.
Although Furcellaria lumbricalis is found in Estonia, Denmark, Poland, Latvia and Canada, today only the Estonian company Est-Agar produces furcellaran. In other locations, algal stocks have declined or disappeared entirely as a result of trawling or pollution. However, it is still important to mention that the first factory producing furcellaran was launched in Denmark in the 1940s. Hence, another common name for the seaweed is Danish agar.
Although Furcellaria lumbricalis is found in Estonia, Denmark, Poland, Latvia and Canada, today only the Estonian company Est-Agar AS produces furcellaran. In other locations, algal stocks have declined or disappeared entirely as a result of trawling or pollution. However, it is still important to mention that the first factory producing furcellaran was launched in Denmark in the 1940s. Hence, another common name for the seaweed is Danish agar.
Kassari Bay has 54 monitoring stations that measure Furcellaria lumbricalis quantity and evaluate the biodiversity. Based on the information received from the stations, every other year, a new quota is calculated by the Estonian Marine Institute. It’s not only the quantity thats being calculated, evaluation of catching places are being set as well – taking into account proportion of seaweed mass, coverage and all other species – plants and animals – that could be affected. Sustainable approach and not harming natural reproduction rate is always kept in mind, within protecting all species in the area. Kassari Bay red seaweed’s whole mass is approximately 200 000t, quota set is 2000t (≈1%).
Seaweed caught and collected from Väinameri on average contains a maximum of 8% of additives. Gathered material is dried and stored having a maximum of 22% moisture content.
In addition to catching, local people gather seaweed storm casts from shore, dry it in the sun and sell it to us. Maintaining this tradition brings families and people together, and helps to keep the Baltic Sea shores clean.
Also, Est-Agar AS is an important employer in Saaremaa, Kärla region. Providing different career opportunities to approximately 25 people and the number is growing.
EstGel1000™ is a unique texturizing agent with variable properties, acting as natural colloid, gelling agent and viscosity control agent.
EstGel1000™ has excellent gelling qualities at low temperatures and low material consumption rate which makes it a good, cost effective alternative.
What really differentiates EstGel1000™ from other texturants is that gives products unique texture and mouthfeel – especially when used in milk desserts and confectionary products. Even though food and cosmetics have been our main industries so far, we are carrying out constant research to understand furcellaran uniqueness in various industries.
Both of our products EstGel1000™ and EstGelF™ are plant-based, vegan, natural, organic and can be a valuable addition to your product in various fields: food and drinks; cosmetics; pharmaceutical; animal and fish feed; fertilizers and soil conditioners; packaging films and bioplastic applications.
EstGel1000™ – Beige to brownish yellow with greyish shade powder with a neutral taste and odor. Soluble in hot water, insoluble in alcohol for a 1,5% dilution. Loss on drying ≤12%. Particle size at least 95% < 150 μm.
Shelf life is 3 years from production date.
EstGelF™ – Beige to brownish yellow with greyish shade flakes without additives, taste and odor neutral. Soluble in hot water, insoluble in alcohol for a 1,5 dilution. Loss on drying ≤18%. Particle size max 5mm.
Shelf life is 1,5 years from production date.
The safety of furcellaran and its production is guaranteed by the systematic analysis of hazards and critical points. The production’s compliance to HACCP requirements is under control of Veterinary and Food Board. Strict and careful quality control checks are made in every stage of production from accepting the seaweed to sale. All lots are tested and guaranteed to comply with the specifications and standards.
Furcellaran is classified together with carrageenan (E407) and complies with EU directive 2009/10/EC, Food Chemical Codex and JECFA standards. Although it is very important to note here that even though furcellaran is classified together with carrageenan, it is still a standalone polysaccharide with similar good properties – rigid or elastic, clear or turbid, tough or tender, heat stable or thermally reversible, low or high melting/gelling temperatures, but lacks the negative properties. Furcellaran is fully safe and contains no danger for health.
Furcellaran is anionic partly sulphated polysaccharide which is classified together with carrageenan (E407).
The structure of furcellaran is similar to that of kappa carrageenan and has been described as a hybrid of kappa/beta carrageenans complex. The essential difference is that kappa carrageenan has one sulphate ester residue per two sugars, while furcellaran has one sulphate ester residue per three or four sugar residues.
Furcellaran is polysaccharide consisting of repeated disaccharide units of beta (R1 = R2 = H) and kappa carrageenan (R1 = SO3-, R2 = H). The structures of repeating disaccharide units of furcellaran and carrageenan are shown in figure 1.
(a) kappa carrageenan (R1= SO3–, R2= H), beta carrageenan (R1= R2=H), furcellaran (R1= SO3–, R2= H) (R1= R2= H), iota-carrageenan (R1= R2= SO3–)
(b) lambda-carrageenan (R3 = R4= SO3–)
Furcellaran is composed of D-galactose, 3,6-anhydro-D-galactose and D-galactose- 4-sulphate.
Furcellaran is extracted raw seaweed Furcellaria lumbricalis and the liquid extract is purified by filtration. The liquid extract may be converted into flaky furcellaran by evaporation of water to yield by drum drying. Proper release of the dried material from the dryer roll requires addition of a small amount of roll-stripping agents (foo doil).
Also the furcellaran can be isolated from the liquid extract by precipitation of the furcellaran with potassium chloride. This process gives a pure and concentrated product.
Today’s consumers demand products to be safe and sustainably manufactured. It is not only the production process that is important here, also sourcing and causing as little impact for the natural resource as possible. Sustainability, with its environmental and its social aspects, is a force in the beauty industry. Without compromising on product effectiveness and quality. We will help you to innovate and cover several key aspects towards sustainability and naturality.
Seaweed is fully natural, helping to reduce aquatic toxicity by protecting our waters and aquatic life from artificial cosmetics ingredients and plastics. Furcellaran extract can add creaminess, smoothness, homogeneity and unique soft texture to your beauty and personal care products. Even better, seaweed has scientifically proven beneficial effects on skin and hair, just simple natural beauty without harmful effects!
Food innovators are constantly in search of better alternatives, whether it’s adding value to the new product, finding solutions for vegans or making sure the food is halal. Furcellaran is the best option here, as it covers all – it’s vegan, halal, kosher, organic, natural and innovative. Providing outstanding mouthfeel and superior flavor release.
Furcellaran provides thermoreversible texture and is medium strong gelling polysaccharide for different applications in the food and beverages industry – bakery, confectionery, marmalade, jam, yogurt, meat, water and milk based desserts. Whether the goal is to create a new health drink, adding body to the diet drink or add creaminess, smoothness and homogeneity to your new liquer.
Using natural hydrocolloid allows you to create high quality products with best intentions and sustainability in mind.
Pets are part of our everyday lives and play a key role in human health and recovery. They are an important part of the family and offer unconditional love. Hence, people want the best food and products out there to make sure their pets’ health and well-being is taken care of. Same way as the pet supports their owner’s health and well-being.
Hence, creating functional food for animals is the key to success. Keeping in mind that not only nutritions is important here, but also the shape, texture, smell, and mouthfeel. Whether pet food is shredded, pureed, jellied, gravied or its soft, chevy, crunchy. There should be no discounts for the important family members. Texture is as important as the rest of the food formulation.
Furcellaran is a functional food ingredient that will add the perfect texture for the perfect pet!
Consumers have a certain expectation, how meat and poultry has to look, feel and taste. They want freshness and long shelf life at the same time. This is where furcellaran can help you out, with adding the functional touch to your fresh or processed product. We can help you to improve color, texture, mouthfeel or flavor release. Additionally, keeping the freshness of the product, but extending the shelf life. Not to forget about the sustainability factor within your production.
Create your new product with all the key success factors out there – highest quality, freshness, luxurious mouthfeel, great visual appeal and functional elements without compromising in naturality and sustainability. You can develop the best product with our help!
Hypersensitivity or allergic reaction can occur for an inactive ingredient in a medicine. Inactive ingredients include fillers to increase the bulk of the powder that is used for making tablets, film coating for tablets, capsules and different binders. These are all responsible for creating the shape of the medicine. However, there is so much more to it – color, flavor, preservation or even how slow or fast the medication is released into your body.
There are hundreds of inactive ingredients used in medicine, many of them synthetical or with higher risk to allergic reactions. Seaweed is classed naturally hypoallergenic – there is even proven research that seaweed can help to fight with allergies. We can help you out here and find the solution you need. Furcellaran extracted from seaweed can be used for all of the mentioned aspects and many more.
We are here to innovate with you!
Rising and very important sector to preserve aquatic life and oceans. Not to mention all the microplastic every human eats, drinks or breathes every year – its hundreds of thousands particles. Seaweed itself serves as a good candidate for an alternative to regular, oil based plastic, due to its high biomass and fast growth ratio. Also more than 71% of earth is covered with water. Hence, it is a raw-material that with wise management can be used without harming the earth.
Red seaweed is a good raw-material, having all the needed properties to develop different bioplastic materials or films. Our science team has also conducted research and made some prototypes. However, only the sky’s the limit, whether its single use products like cups, straws, plastic bags, takeaway boxes or taking it to the next level and making furniture out of seaweed.
As they say, the world is your oyster.
Besides manufacturing we actively develop exceptional technology, to create disruptive innovations that will save the world by improving the quality of production and study on new products in order to expand substantially the range of use of furcellaran from purely natural origin.
We will lead the way to a sustainable blue economy through circularity – zero waste, zero pollution. Furcellaran from purely natural origin can replace many harmful materials without creating any waste or pollution to the Baltic Sea and our planet. We also use a circular economy throughout our production, using every part of the seaweed caught from the sea. We have extensive knowledge in various application opportunities for furcellaran, red seaweed and also furcellaran production residue.
We take the journey seriously and call you to hop abroad with us to shift the course of the world waters and aquatic life! Let’s be the pioneers together!
In the last resource audit, we analyzed the usage of electricity, machinery effectiveness, material usage in order to lower consumption in all areas. All electrical motors and systems were renewed with low energy consumption machinery.
Excess heat from production is reversed back to the facilities own heating system
100% natural planting pots will replace plastic pots that are currently used in herb and plant growing companies
Through it, we are helping to reduce the effect of eutrophication. Which is one of the main threats to the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea and is caused by excessive inputs of nutrients to the marine environment
Throughout the history we have been searching, investigating and testing. Through 50 years we have worked constantly to improve the technology, renovate and update the machinery and improve the properties and quality of the product. We have consulted and cooperated with specialists and scientists from all over the world. We have worked together with University of Tallinn and sent samples to different research institutes from Europe. We have gone abroad to business meetings and exhibitions to introduce the unique texturant – furcellaran!
The workers of Estonian Laboratory of Marine Ichthyology determined that the seaweed Furcellaria lumbricalis growing in the Baltic Sea can be used to produce gelling agent – furcellaran.
The specialists of the industry set up the foundation for producing furcellaran in Saaremaa, Kärla. The preliminary output quantity 40 tons was used by the confectionery industry “Kalev”.
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