That's a wrap: Algae-based tortilla wraps will mainstream sustainable eating, says creator

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

The wraps contain 50% organic seaweed. © Seamore
The wraps contain 50% organic seaweed. © Seamore
Tortilla wraps made with 50% seaweed will normalise sustainable eating thanks to their affordable price and ease of use, according to Dutch start-up Seamore.

Seaweed is the food of the future, according to the founder and CEO of Dutch start-up Seamore, Willem Sodderland. Requiring no land, fresh water, pesticides or fertilisers, both macro- and micro-algae has the potential to make our food system more sustainable.

"We get 2% of our food from the sea, while 70% of the earth is ocean,"​ he said.

Seamore already has two seaweed-based products on the market, its tagliatelle-style pasta​ and bacon-style seaweed slices​, both of which are made from whole, unprocessed seaweed.

The wraps are its first venture into processed food, however, and Sodderland expects them to become the start-ups biggest-selling product due to their convenience and accessibility in terms of price, use and taste.

In a bid to get more seaweed on people's plates, Seamore has expanded its portfolio with tortilla wraps made with 50% seaweed. Of the some 10,000 algae species that exist, Seamore chose a species of himanthalia for these wraps, which it sources from Ireland and France. 

The wraps are made with 50% himanthalia seaweed, 30% spelt flour, wheat flour, corn flour, rapeseed oil, bicarbonate of soda, malic acid and citric acid.

Seamore - I sea wrap 2_preview
© Seamore

Sodderland told FoodNavigator the idea for the wraps came from “playing around with sea lettuce”.

“I layered them into a sheet, a little like sushi, and then thought: could this be a wrap? I always liked wraps in terms of their form and function - wrapping food - but not for their content or taste.”

It took around nine months to develop the product and scale up production. “Getting 50% seaweed into a dough that can pass through a tortilla machine is not easy,” ​Sodderland added.

The use of flour in the recipe means its texture is similar to standard, wheat-based wraps but the seaweed gives a nutritional and flavour boost.

A 100 g serving of the wraps provides 100.9 mg of magnesium, 0.84 mg of manganese and 585 μg of iodine as well as 6.1 g of fibre, and contains 1.2 g of salt.

“The flavour is very subtle, a little less sweet than normal tortillas, a little more savoury. In the background you taste a very subtle ‘green’ or veggie taste.

“What’s really great is that the ‘umami’ in the seaweed acts as a flavour enhancer for anything you put inside the wrap,” ​Sodderland said.

Certified organic, the wraps can be eaten hot or cold and a 250 g pack of four wraps retails for around €2.99. They are currently listed in French organic store Naturalia.

Seamore has launched a crowdfunding campaign on its website to attract new investors.

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