Potential of Green Seaweed Ulva rigida in Thailand for Healthy Snacks

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Jidapa Thunyawanichnondh
Napat Suebsiri
Sirintra Leartamonchaikul
Witsuta Pimolsri
Weerachet Jittanit
Suvimol Charoensiddhi

Abstract

Seaweed is an alternative food source with high nutritional value for health-conscious consumers. In this research, we focused on the development of a healthy Thai seaweed snack that provides high fiber and protein content from green seaweed Ulva rigida. The results showed that U. rigida contained approximately 43 % fiber, 32 % protein, 19 % minerals, and 2 % fat based on dry weight. The pretreatment of fresh seaweed by washing five times in clean water and 15 s blanching in boiling water resulted in stable green color and alleviated fishy odor. For the process of forming seaweed sheets, the addition of seaweed polysaccharide at the concentration of 0.25 % (w/v) assisted the bonding of seaweed, consequently facilitating sheet formation and reducing product fracture. In addition, the drying of seaweed sheets was done at 150 °C for 35 min. These conditions could enhance crispness and reduce moisture content of seaweed to approximately 2 %, which is comparable to commercial crispy seaweed snacks available in the market. After seasoning, this seaweed snack consisted of high fiber and protein with low fat content. The findings demonstrated that U. rigida has the potential to be further developed as a healthy snack.

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