Seaweed Instead of Salt

  • Author:
  • Published: 20 July 2016
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV
thumbnail image: Seaweed Instead of Salt

Salt is a natural flavor enhancer, has conserving effects, and is essential for our organism as long as we do not eat too much of it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 5 g a day, Europeans consume 8–12 g of salt a day. According to Dominic Wimmer, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Freising, Germany, “around 77 % of our salt intake comes from industrially processed foods", mainly from bread, cheese, snacks, ready meals, cold meats, and sausage products. Sodium is the biggest problem; it can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and even kidney ailments, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer.

In the EU-funded TASTE project, Wimmer and colleagues from Iceland, Ireland, France, Spain, Slovenia, and Germany investigate how the saltwater algae Ascophyllum nodosum, Saccharina latissimi, and Fucus vesiculosus could be used as a salt substitute and help to reduce the salt content of industrially processed foods. These brown algae are native to Europe and can be cultivated in coastal regions or harvested wild. Saltwater algae taste naturally salty and contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium, as well as trace elements.

The researchers studied what substances the algae contain and how they can be processed industrially as a salt substitute by preserving the minerals they contain, while removing odor-intensive substances. On a pilot scale of up to 400 liters, they produced a brownish-green seaweed powder. A first test with white bread – one of the biggest culprits of our excessive salt intake – shows that the brownish-green color is still apparent after baking. The salty taste is not as strong as with salt. However, the salt substitute is easy to process and can help to reduce the salt content.


Article Views: 2335

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission and consult our permisson guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH