smRt Pasta makes Awards Shortlist for Seaweed Innovation

smRt CEO James Cunningham, a boat, some seaweed and smRt pasta…

smRt CEO James Cunningham, a boat, some seaweed and smRt pasta…

We thought you might like to see the press release trumpeting our recent success in Ireland’s Bord Iascaigh Mhara (‘BIM’) National Seafood Awards 2018.

smRt, Ireland’s leading provider of air-dried, milled seaweed ingredients to the cooking and baking industry, was a finalist in the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (‘BIM’) National Seafood Awards 2018 thanks to the recent launch of its smRt pasta retail products. The awards ceremony took place on 27th November.

smRt pasta appeared in the shortlist of 3 for the BIM ‘Best in Processing Innovation’ category. smRt pasta introduces health-giving seaweed properties to a standard carbohydrate, resulting in great-tasting organic food that makes people feel good eating it. Ideal for vegans and vegetarians who struggle to get their daily dose of iodine, this is pasta with all the goodness of seaweed, and none of the seaweed taste.

James Cunningham, pictured, CEO of Connemara Food Ventures, the company behind smRt pasta, commented, “We create a carefully selected blend of seaweeds, air-dry them at low temperature to keep the goodness inside, mill them into granules, and add a small amount of this x-factor ingredient into the pasta. Seaweed contains rich sources of iodine, which has proven health claims linked to the thyroid gland. It is key to normal growth in children and the normal function of the thyroid, metabolism, nervous system, cognitive skills and skin.”

Cunningham continued, “The global pasta market is colossal, and the demand for premium, artisan, organic and healthy products is rapidly growing. Seaweed is yet to take off as a mainstream superfood and we have years of experience commercialising the production of the right blends of these sustainable sea vegetables. We feel we’re uniquely poised to capitalise on the enormous unmet demand of early majority consumers for great-tasting, healthy carbohydrates for them and their families. The market potential for 'feel good food', as opposed to both mass produced food and alternative lifestyle health food, is vast and currently untapped.”

There are 4 products in the range, retailing as premium brand, artisanal products for the health-conscious and physically active consumer. These are macaroni, penne, fusilli, and a gluten-free version of the fusilli, made with organic rice flour, for people with a wheat intolerance. Unlike many other gluten-free products, the gluten-free fusilli tastes great and holds its shape during cooking. Seaweed is rich in the glutamate umami, a natural flavour enhancer, which allows consumers to cut down on their salt intake. The seaweed content is 100% organic and Irish, sustainably sourced on the coastlines of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Each product comes in a 250g packet, or boxes of 12 packets.

Cunningham concluded, “Health- and lifestyle-conscious consumers are looking for tasty, ‘guilt-free’ carbs as part of a balanced diet. As parents ourselves, we also wanted to give our kids a healthy carbohydrate alternative to the standard school sandwich. A ham and cheese sandwich on white bread 5 days a week does our children a disservice. We’ve worked hard to produce a range of pastas that taste like a chef made them. smRt pastas are organic and contain a good balance of vitamins and minerals for healthy living.”

Founded in 2016, the biennial BIM National Seafood Awards identify and recognise people, projects, partnerships and businesses who work to promote and support innovation, sustainability, competitiveness and skills in every area of Ireland's vibrant seafood sector. The awards took place on Tuesday 27th November 2018 in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.