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Researchers Urge Greater Use Of Nutrient-Rich Seaweeds In Functional Foods

July 20, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists who reviewed more than a hundred scientific studies found that seaweed and other “macroalgae” are rich in heart-healthy nutrients known as bioactive peptides, which are also found in milk products. The researchers note that food companies are increasingly interested in using bioactive peptides as ingredients in functional foods that are nutritious and have a therapeutic effect on high blood pressure. Seaweeds, which have been eaten in some cultures for centuries, are rich in these bioactive compounds and are easy to cultivate. Among the varieties of seaweed available are Nori in Japan, dulse in coastal Europe, and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine. The researchers said “more efforts are needed to fully exploit their potential for use and delivery to consumers in food products."
Ciarán Fitzgerald, et al., "Heart Health Peptides from Macroalgae and Their Potential Use in Functional Foods", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 20, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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