Thinking of Cooking With Algae? Good Idea

By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – Algae has been increasingly popping up in restaurants and supermarkets. From ice cream, vegan egg substitutes and protein powders to sausage casings and sea lettuce, its versatility is broad, as recently noted in an article in The Guardian. According to a nutritionist quoted by the newspaper, algae is a true superfood, rich in essential minerals that—depending on the type of algae—can include iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron and antioxidant manganese.

Cuisines from around the world can benefit from algae’s ability to enhance various dishes. The Guardian offers perspectives from chefs who use algae to enhance a charred hispi cabbage with seaweed butter sauce; a chocolate and seaweed fudge; seaweed spaghetti and seaweed custard. In the article, a London-based chef at a Japanese restaurant notes that more than 50 type of algae are consumed in Japan.

“Those who have encountered the rising selection of algae-based dishes offered in restaurants or on the shelves of their local supermarket will sooner or later be tempted to try cooking with algae at home,” says Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of ZIVO Bioscience, a biotech/agtech R&D company engaged in the commercialization of nutritional and medicinal products derived from proprietary algal strains. “This is a trend that is likely to continue as algae’s benefits become better known to the public at large.”

ZIVO’s algal strain can be spray-dried, belt-dried, drum-dried or freeze-dried depending on a product’s formulation requirement, ranging from a fine powder for better mixing properties to a flaked form that looks and blends like pesto, parsley flakes or dried seaweed. Once approved for use, the algal biomass can be grown by contracted cultivators and shipped to licensed drying facilities. From there, it would be shipped to formulators, for use as a protein-enhancing food ingredient, a dietary supplement or a vegan beverage ingredient.

An algae culture can be produced—and its nutritive components can be extracted—for use in foods and beverages that support human health. Studies have suggested there are significant functional benefits from incorporating algae-based products into dietary supplements, foods and beverages. In preclinical research, ZIVO’s proprietary algal extracts have exhibited potentially  beneficial properties in supporting a healthy cholesterol balance and immune response, along with other studies to assess additional benefits such as joint health or post-exertion recovery.

In addition to a digestible protein, ZIVO’s algal strain also offer a very significant fiber component, as well as natural, bioavailable vitamins A and C, non-starch polysaccharides and other micronutrients.

“No matter where a consumer’s specific tastes happen to lie, it is possible that at some point in the future, algae will enhance the number of offerings that they will find enjoyable,” Dahl adds.

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