Nutritional Evaluation of Tropical Green Seaweeds Caulerpa lentillifera and Ulva reticulata
Studies were conducted to evaluate nutritional qualities of two edible green seaweeds, Caulerpa lentillifera and Ulva reticulata, with a view to their utilization in human nutrition. The proximate composition, mineral and vitamin contents, free fatty acid, and amino acid profiles were investigated.
Protein and ash contents were the two most abundant components in these seaweeds. Caulerpa lentillifera and Ulva reticulata contained 12.49%, 21.06% protein and 24.21%, 17.58% ash based on dry weight, respectively. Both seaweeds contained high amounts of minerals and balanced amino acid profiles. Regarding the Dietary Reference Intake, both kinds of seaweeds were notably rich in iodine. Caulerpa lentillifera was also rich in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and copper, while Ulva reticulata was rich in potassium, manganese and ferrous. Comparisons to corresponding nutrient values in other seaweeds and some commonly consumed local vegetables, both seaweeds showed their potential of being health food for human diets or as source of ingredients with high nutritional values.