Welcome to the world of furcellaran

Dear friend, partner, scientist, chemist, seaweed enthusiast… 

We have initiated a vlog and blog series to introduce you to the world of furcellaran. Although our factory has been producing furcellaran since 1966, it was initially established and owned by a confectionary manufacturer solely for internal use. However, following that era, the factory extended its services to the broader market. Initially catering primarily to the food sector, particularly in the Baltic countries, we are now on a trajectory to embrace a global audience, shifting a gear to the beauty world. The burgeoning research into furcellaran’s properties has unveiled its myriad applications, from its beneficial effects on skin and hair to its effectiveness as soil fertilizer and in the creation of biobased films and plastics. Join us on a journey through history, tradition, and excellence as we unfold the story of Est-Agar.  

Food as a primary sector:

Est-Agar stands as the sole producer of a unique gelling, thickening, and stabilizing agent – furcellaran, derived from the red seaweed Furcellaria lumbricalis. In the following months, we will guide you through a series of stories and interviews with experts in the field, seaweed enthusiasts, and industry representatives from various sectors, including food, beauty, and beyond. We are taking you through the properties and qualities furcellaran holds, showing you different use cases and why there is so much to love about furcellaran. 

The factory came to life more than 50 years ago, in 1966 and was initially designed to produce gelling agent for the confectionary industry. Until this day, this is a huge segment we serve. In the Baltics, most gourmet marmalade candies, and zephyr deserts are produced with furcellaran because of the smooth texture it gives.  

Shift into the beauty world:

However, for the past 7 years, we´ve been modernizing our production technology. In 2023 we launched a new production line for powdered furcellaran with the aim to introduce furcellaran into the beauty world. As we venture into the realm of beauty, our mission is to showcase the unparalleled excellence of furcellaran – not merely as a mere texturizing or stabilizing agent, but as an elixir of vitality, possessing benefits for both skin and hair. While the beauty industry for furcellaran is still in infancy, its great benefits are beginning to emerge. From its antioxidant and anti-aging properties to its soothing anti-inflammatory effectes and wound-healing capabilities, furcellaran stands as a paragon of botanical efficacy, limited only by the bounds of technological innovation. Thus, adding products a luxurious sensory experience, coupled with active ingredients, we orchestrate a harmonious symphony of indulgence and efficacy, transcending mere skincare into the realm of divine rejuvenation.  

Furcellaran is listed in INCI list under the name of Furcellaria lumbricalis Extract. In EU you can find it with the code E407, in the US furcellaran is listed as a standalone ingredient by FDA. Furthermore, its versatility extends beyond gastronomy and cosmetics, finding expression in pharmaceuticals, animal nutrition, and the creation of biobased films and sustainable plastic products, underscoring its boundless utility and eco-conscious ethos.  

Why furcellaran?

While similar products exist globally, such as pectin, gelatin, and various hydrocolloids, what sets us apart is our complete vegan ethos and our utilization of only pure, clean water for furcellaran extraction from seaweed. The distinctive chemical structure of furcellaran distinguishes it from other hydrocolloids, rendering its properties unique. Somewhat similar to kappa carrageenan, furcellaran has been described as a hybrid of kappa/beta carrageenan, characterized by firm, smooth gels that are less brittle than carrageenan gels.  

We place significant emphasis on sustainability, commencing with our seaweed harvesting practices. Industrial volumes of Furcellaria lumbricalis grow near two small islands in Estonia, where families have long engaged in the tradition of harvesting seaweed from the shores. Seaweed is meticulously sun-dried before transportation to the factory. Additionally, we harvest seaweed from the water with utmost respect to natural reproduction rates, ensuring minimal environmental impact.  

The factory employs diverse energy sources, prioritizing renewable energy wherever feasible, while also implementing resource reuse and recycling throughout the manufacturing process. As our company strides into the future, we are unlocking the full potential of this seaweed resource. Our objective is to maximize resource utilization from extraction to end-product, employing multi-extraction for different ingredients and repurposing production waste into seedling pots for herb-growing companies. With an open mind and boundless curiosity, we eagerly anticipate the unfolding journey ahead.  

We are always here for you!

Join us, dear friends, biweekly, as we unveil the mysteries of furcellaran. Embark on this discovery with us, evolve with us, and let us together explore how furcellaran can elevate your products to realms of excellence and responsibility.  

Should you have any interest in incorporating furcellaran into your product development endeavors, we stand ready to assist in any capacity possible. Simply reach out to us through your preferred means of contact.  

Cheers :)  

Est-Agar Team