IMR Conference 2019
Between April 28th and May 1st, the latest IMR conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal. This event brings together suppliers, producers, buyers and analysts from the world of hydrocolloids, ranging from Tara gum to starch to seaweed-based hydrocolloids.
The focus is on broad, industry wide topics and this year the main talking point was without a doubt natural, clean label product. As many experts agreed the future of hydrocolloids needs to head towards sustainable production methods and practices in order to face the challenges, social, environmental and economical, that the coming years will bring.
Seaweed take a leading role in the development of the industry in this regard, providing products that are functional as gelling, thickening and emulsifying agents, while bringing the added benefit of vitamins, minerals and nutrients present in the seaweed. Another advantage is that seaweed does not compete for land with other crops and allow for the use of resources that could not previously be utilized, providing a more environmentally sustainable solution to the food industry.
Indonesia, as the world’s largest producer of seaweed, needs to spearhead this movement and lead by example. There must be a push towards greener, more natural harvesting, processing and production methods, launching the industry and Indonesia as a whole forward, giving everyone an advantage when facing the issues that will inevitably present themselves in the future.