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Irish Moss Market -Overview

Irish moss or carrageen moss is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. In its fresh condition this protist is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown. The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its dry weight. The organism also consists of nearly 10% dry weight protein and about 15% dry weight mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. When softened in water it has a sea-like odour and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.

Chondrus crispus is a relatively small sea alga, reaching up to a little more than 20 cm in length. It grows from a discoid holdfast and branches four or five times in a dichotomous, fan-like manner. The morphology is highly variable, especially the broadness of the thalli. The branches are 2–15 mm broad and firm in texture, and the color ranges from bright green towards the surface of the water, to deep red at greater depths. The gametophytes (see below) often show a blue iridescence at the tip of the fronds and fertile sporophytes show a spotty pattern.

Market Outlook

Irish Moss is a kind of red algae grown mostly in western parts of the world, mainly along the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. It is a dichotomously bushy branched alga with blades tapering into a disc-shaped holdfast.

Its availability in nature varies, depending on the climatic conditions, and it is available in various colors and various color intensities of greenish-yellow, red and purple-brown. Irish moss serves as an essential source for carrageenan production.

North America will continue to sustain its dominant position in the Irish Moss market with Canada being a major producer. Irish Moss is categorized under red seaweeds. Other major producers of Irish Moss include France and Ireland. Irish Moss is majorly used in North America due to its unique functional properties and broader applications. Carrageenan production further adds to this robust end-use potential of Irish Moss. Increasing importance of marine plants and seaweeds as a raw material for food and beverages production will support the Irish Moss market during the forecast period.

Reasons for Covering this Title

The rise in industrial applications of multifunctional and nutritional marine plants is driving higher demand for Irish moss. In ancient times, Irish moss was used during food scarcity by the Irish. Among various available forms, quality and source of seaweed are vital while making purchasing decisions for Irish moss. This seaweed is nutritionally important as it contains 83% of all essential nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, F and K. Irish moss serves as an excellent source of various minerals, including calcium, potassium, iodine as well as sulphur.  Additionally, Irish moss has healing powers in case of radiation poisoning. The above-mentioned criteria has opened up opportunities for the use of Irish moss in dietary supplements. Its vitamin- and antioxidant-rich content, along with its anti-viral properties, has encouraged cosmetic manufacturers, specifically skin care product manufacturers to include Irish moss in skin creams. That apart, its mucilaginous body structure (55%) makes it an ideal source for carrageenan production.  

The intricate structure of Irish moss is vulnerable to higher weed growth, leading to weed control complex. Concerns over labeling and food safety issues might lead to limited growth potential of Irish moss to an extent.

Global Irish Moss: Market Segmentation

On the basis of product type, the global Irish Moss market has been segmented as –

  • Fresh
  • Dried

On the basis of form, the global Irish Moss market has been segmented as –

  • Powder
  • Flake
  • Whole
  • Others

On the basis of nature, the global Irish Moss market has been segmented as –

  • Organic
  • Conventional

On the basis of application, the global Irish Moss market has been segmented as –

  • Clarifying agent
  • Thickener and Binding agent
  • Stabilizer
  • Softening and Cleansing agent
  • Detoxifying agent
  • Antimicrobial and antiviral agent and
  • Others

On the basis of End-Use, the global Irish Moss market has been segmented as –

  • Food and Beverages
  • Carrageenan production
  • Bakery and Snacks
  • Frozen Dessert
  • Dairy Products
  • Soups and Stews
  • Dips and Raw Desserts
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Beverages
    • Tea
    • Beer
  • Medicinal
  • Personal Care Products
  • Others

Global Irish Moss Market: Key Players

Some of the key players operating in the global Irish Moss market are Starwest Botanicals, Lipotec, Red's Kitchen Sink, Gaia Herbs, Brouwland, Angelina Organic Skincare, Brupaks Brewing Products, Seatech Bioproducts Corp and others.   

Opportunities for Market Participants

Increase in consumer awareness about Irish moss and its benefits across various social media platforms will encourage sales of Irish moss products over the forecast period. Rise in use of android phones, internet users and vast knowledge sharing across various platforms including landscaping, indoor gardening is likely to support Irish moss supply at household levels to a greater extent.

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Irish Moss Market

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