Seaweeds could be used as anti-microbials and anti-oxidants in food manufacture.

The nutritional and superfood benefits of seaweed are already well known but now it appears that their anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties (found in their polyphenolic compounds) could be used in food manufacture to reduce or prevent food spoilage and the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms.

Dr Nissreen Abu-Ghannam and colleagues from the Dublin Institute of Technology believe that seaweeds could extend their use in the food industry from their current role as nutrition boosters, salt substitutes and as edible packaging to that of a preservative although, as yet there are very few studies looking at their efficacy when actually incorporated into a food products rather than being tested in vitro.

For the research see Food Research International: July 2011. Recent developments in the application of seaweeds or seaweed extracts as a means for enhancing the safety and quality attributes of foods

If you want to know more about Seaweed, you could also join the Seaweed Health Foundation who aim to 'increase the awareness and understanding and successful application of human food quality seaweeds for food, health and body care. This quality should extend throughout the food chain.'


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First Published in July 2011

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