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Bacon Seaweed: Scientists Patent a Strain of Red Sea Lettuce

Image: Bacon Seaweed: Scientists Patent a Strain of Red Sea Lettuce
Dulse, a translucent red seaweed more nutritious than kale, allegedly tastes like bacon when it is cooked. (NDN)

By    |   Friday, 17 Jul 2015 10:55 AM

Dulse, a translucent red seaweed more nutritious than kale, allegedly tastes like bacon when it is cooked, and one group of researchers have now patented a strain they hope to commercialize for human consumption.

"The original goal was to create a super-food for abalone [sea snails], because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia," researcher Chris Langdon of Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center said in a university release.

"We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature. There always has been an interest in growing dulse for human consumption, but we originally focused on using dulse as a food for abalone."

When a fellow faculty member, Chuck Toombs of the business department, was seeking out potential projects for his students, he and Langdon landed on dulse.

"Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale," Toombs said. "And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon."

Langdon agreed, noting that dulse is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and contains up to 16 percent protein in dry weight. Plus, its easy to grow in large quantities.

"That fact that it grows rapidly, has high nutritional value, and can be used dried or fresh certainly makes it a strong candidate," said Gil Sylvia, director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station at OSU.

Now, many Portland-area chefs are experimenting with fresh dulse, adding it to smoothies, sprinkling dry flakes on fish, and frying it up to eat by itself.

"When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor," said Langdon.

 


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Dulse, a translucent red seaweed more nutritious than kale, allegedly tastes like bacon when it is cooked, and one group of researchers have now patented a strain they hope to commercialize for human consumption.
bacon, seaweed, scientists, patent, red
286
2015-55-17
Friday, 17 Jul 2015 10:55 AM
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