ALGAE IN FOOD

264

ALGAE IN FOOD

INTRODUCTION

  • Algae have a rich chemical composition.
  • Bioactive substances are also present in algae
  • Algae are used in various fields of industry.
  • It has been used as human food for many years.
  • Algae have high nutritional value so they can be marketed as” functional foods” or “nutraceuticals”.
  • Food sources from algae benefit our health way more than the role of basic nutrition.

LIST OF ALGAE USED AS HUMAN FOOD

  • Algae are a major source of food to small fishes, aquatic amphibians.
  • Man is dependent on fishes to supplement the diet, hence, the algae provide an indirect source for human food.
  • More than a hundred species of algae provide direct food to human beings.

CHLORELLA

  • It is high in protein.
  • It contains 45% protein20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins in its dry weight.
  • It contains dietary nucleic acids at the highest level. Hence, it is used as diet food.
  • These foods provide super nutrition, rejuvenate, heal, and help in creating optimum health.

ALGAE IN FOOD

PORPHYRA (A RED ALGA)

  • It contains 30-35% proteins, 40-45% carbohydrates and even a very high percentage of vitamins.
  • It is used in the production of sea vegetable products such. Eg-“amanori” in Japan
  • This alga is eaten together with rice.
  • It is also traditionally used to produce edible sea vegetables on the Irish Sea coast.

 

DULSE (Palmaria palmata)

  • Dulse is said to be a good source of minerals.
  • Very high in iron and contains all the trace elements required in human nutrition.
  • Vitamin content is also much higher.
  • The protein content is high i.e. more than 20%.
  • The dried form of dulse is served as a salty cocktail snack in bars.

ALGAE IN FOOD

LAMAINARIA (A Brown Alga)

  • Nutritional value – 10% protein, 2% fat, and useful amounts of minerals and vitamins.
  • Food product are “Kombu” or “Konbu”.

NOSTOC (Blue-green Algae)

  • Containing protein and vitamin C.
  • Consumed and cultivated as a foodstuff in Asia.

ULVA (a green alga)

  • Also called sea lettuce.
  • Used as an enhancer for warm dishes like rice, soups, and salads.
  • The protein content is high.

ALGAE IN FOOD

DISADVANTAGES OF EATING ALGAE

  • Blue-green algae produce harmful toxins.
  • Some algae can lead to gastroenteritis when consumed as a drink.

  • Few algal toxins may affect the liver or nervous system.
  • Other types of algae can cause some potential side effects like goitre, skin reactions.
  • Pregnant women should avoid consuming brown algae. It may dilate the cervical canal.