A Buxton company that is developing a kelp-based additive for bread has received a $600,000 federal grant.

VitaminSea will receive the Small Business Innovation Research grant as follow-up financing to the $100,000 that the company received last year to prove the feasibility and costs of adding kelp to bread and other products made by bakeries.

“Some of the most exciting things about Maine aquaculture right now are consumers’ growing awareness of seaweed’s nutritional benefits and the innovative products local businesses are making with it. VitaminSea’s efforts to develop a kelp-based bread additive has huge potential for growing not just their business, but the state’s seaweed aquaculture as a whole,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree, who supported the company’s application for the grant and announced the award in a written statement. “I’m excited that all the work this business has put into proving the concept’s potential has led to this significant federal investment to put their plan into motion.”

The second phase of financing will allow VitaminSea to develop a prototype and partner with bakeries to develop its own recipes, and conduct market testing.

Cooking with seaweed has been growing in popularity in Maine and elsewhere.

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