Evaluation of Marine Algae Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and Kombu (Laminaria digitata japonica) as Food Supplements

Nada Kolb1*, Luciana Vallorani2, Nada Milanović3 and Vilberto Stocchi2

1Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Istituto di Chimica Biologica »Giorgio Fornaini«, Università degli Studi di Urbino, via Saffi 2, I-61029 Urbino, Italy
3Croatian National Institute of Public Health, Rockefellerova 7, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia 

Article history:
Received: July 9, 2003
Accepted: February 16, 2004

Key words:
Wakame, Kombu, protein quality, vitamin and mineral composition

Crude proteins and their amino acid composition, β-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin and minerals were determined in two edible brown marine algae (Phaeophyceae), Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and Kombu (Laminaria digitata japonica). The amino acid scores for five key essential amino acids, frequently deficient in mixed human diet, and essential amino acid index were calculated. The results have shown the presence of all essential amino acids. The values of essential amino acid ratios of analysed algae exceed the ratios of reference proteins suggested by FAO/WHO/UNU, except for tryptophan, the first limiting amino acid in both analysed algae. Iodine, the most important component of sea vegetables is present in high amounts as well as the vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin and β-carotene. The content of minerals was found high, while the presence of heavy metals was negligible.

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