A new book, “Enzymatic Technologies for Marine Polysaccharides” contains an interesting chapter on seaweeds called, “The manufacture, characterization, and uses of fucoidans from macroalgae.“
Fucoidans are sulfated, complex, fucose-rich, polymers found in brown seaweeds, most notably the order Fucales known as the fucoids. The chapter details extraction methods and uses in food supplements, pharmaceuticals, bio-materials, cosmetics, and animal/ agricultural applications.
The authors claim that most fucoidan available on the market are for dietary supplementation, however, they admit that the molecule species is hard to identify and robust identification assays should be employed in any bioactive study. There is a new interest in animal health relating to fucoidan, and could be an emerging market.
Focoidans are considered safe and have a variety of uses, again showing how a completely sustainable resource (seaweeds) have a variety of revenue streams.