Start-up pivots to seaweed to fill gap in market for ‘kind and healthy’ alternatives that don’t compromise on taste

By Oliver Morrison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Start-up pivots to seaweed to fill gap in market for ‘kind and healthy’ alternatives that don’t compromise on taste

Related tags: Seaweed

A UK start-up claims seaweed is key to creating new allergen-free, soya-free, and plant-based alternatives to fish, soya, and oyster sauces.

The company, called Sozyë, has launched three gluten-free, soya-free plant-based alternatives to fish, soya and oyster sauces into UK retailer Planet Organic, which the company said do not have the environmental impact of conventional soya, fish and oyster sauces.

“Every year, forests are being destroyed globally to cater to the world's hunger for soy sauces,”​ it claimed. “Sea life is also affected as fishes and oysters are taken from water bodies for the production of sauces. On the part of soy, the repeated farming of mono-crops have greatly reduced the ability of the forests to absorb and store carbon dioxide.”

Instead of soya or seafood, the sauces use certified organic Scottish seaweed grown by Wick-based Shore Seaweed. Only the tops of the leaves are collected to enable it to regrow within a few weeks. This method ensures that the environment is preserved while the world's cravings for soya sauces are met.

The sauces are the brainchildren of Jacob Thundil, founder of coconut brand Cocofina. He said the products aim to fill a gap in the market for ‘kind and healthy’ alternatives that don’t compromise on taste.

While experimenting with making a vegetarian stock, the savoury notes from seaweed reminded Thundil of fermented soy. He then spent over two years conducting kitchen trials with over 100 seaweed variety types to try and get the right cost, availability and taste profile.

He’s now perfected what he claims is the world's first British-made soya sauce alternative and in October 2021, Sozyë won the coveted Great Taste Awards for all three products.

Thundil said Sozyë is on a mission to shake up the sauce aisle and introduce the world to a new way of brewing sauces without compromises.

“The fermentation process mellows the seaweed taste to bring out the savoury notes,”​ he added. “We only make 250 litres at a time… We’re happy to build this up slowly,”​ he said, adding: “It’s good for people who have soy allergies and who want to avoid GMO and it’s organic certified. The sustainability of seaweed is a bonus.”

As well as being a good source of umami flavour, seaweeds are low in calories and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. According to Shore Seaweed, Scotland’s cool clean waters provide the perfect conditions for ‘nutrient-dense’ seaweed to thrive. It describes seaweed as “a naturally regenerative plant”, and an “incredible source of prebiotic fibre, protein, magnesium, antioxidants and iodine.”







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