Seaweed rediscovered : healthy hydrocolloids and beyond

A quick analysis of current food and health trends in Europe will show you that key industry players are seeking novel sources of nutritional components such as fibre, carbohydrates, antioxidants, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Seaweeds contain all of these at levels similar to or often greater than traditional sources. Weight for weight, certain seaweeds contain more fibre than prunes or bananas; more calcium than cheese and more iron than sirloin steak. They are generally high in protein (up to 47% in some red species), low in fat (<2%) and provide valuable non-animal sources of essential minerals and vitamins most notably Vitamin B12. Seaweed has been used as a traditional food source, fodder and medicine in European cultures for hundreds of years but recently the food and health industries have become aware of the huge potential of using seaweed in innovative ways and seaweed has, in a sense, been rediscovered.

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