Ecklonia Maxima (giant brown kelp)
Fresh kelp fronds (leaves) are harvested at sea in Gansbaai and surrounding areas by boats. Kelp that is freshly harvested is used for two main purposes. Fresh fronds are sold as abalone feed to local abalone farms. A raw concentrate is also extracted from the kelp, which Afrikelp (an affiliate of Taurus) uses to manufacture a natural growth stimulant that is used in farming to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural crops.
Beachcast kelp is collected from the beaches of the Gansbaai coastline and is dried in the sun and wind, milled and graded into three different grades, 25mm chips, 3mm chips, and 800G (micron) powder and baled in 20kg polypropylene bags. Dried kelp is used for many purposes, across industries. Mainly exported in the food industry, the alginate extracted from the kelp is converted into sodium alginate and is used as a thickener, stabiliser, and emulsifier, in products ranging from ice-cream to toothpaste. Locally dried kelp is used as a feed additive for animals, booster in the production of compost tea and as a moisture retainer in agriculture and horticulture.
All dried kelp products have a 24 months shelf life.
Gelidium (red algae)
Gelidium pristoides and Gelidium amansii are collected along the eastern coastline of South Africa. It is sun-dried before being cleaned and baled in 100kg bales. Gelidium is exported as a raw material for natural, industrial and bacteriological agar, a jelly-like substance, which is extracted from the red algae. It is widely used in the food industry, as a vegetarian gelatine substitute and is also used in the medical field of microbiology as a culture medium.