For the residents of Japan, Korea and China, seaweed is one of the staple foods of national cuisine. This foodstuff migrated to us, to sushi bars, restaurants, and now to the shelves of grocery stores in the form of snacks. For example, traveling to the USA when you under 25 rent a car PIT airport you can try a large variety of alga in restaurants.
Are algae useful? What nutrients do they have? Moreover, what surprising qualities do they represent in engineering? We tell further.
Varieties of Algae
There are several varieties of edible algae with a different set of nutrients. The three most common categories include:
- brown seaweed, such as kombu, which are used to make dashi, a Japanese traditional broth;
- green algae, which are used for sea salad;
- red algae, such as nori, in which rolls are often wrapped.
Although each algae species has its own nutritional differences, in general it is a fairly low-calorie meal. Many varieties contain much less sodium than can be expected from their salty taste. In any case, seaweed is much more useful than just salt and can be a good alternative to it in individual dishes.
Many types of seaweed contain as much protein and amino acids per gram as there is in beef. However, since the algae are light and their portion is much smaller, we cannot compare them with beef. The digestibility of seaweed proteins also varies depending on their type.At the same time, the high nutritional value of seaweed and the richest set of nutrients contribute to the improvement of brain activity, adds vitality, slows down the aging process and enhances human immunity. Due to its rich chemical composition, the use of seafood helps to remove radionuclides and salts of heavy metals from the body. Among other things, algae are a rich source of fluoride, which contributes to the health of bones and teeth.
Algae contains almost the entire periodic table, which us in an accessible and easily digestible form for the human body. The vast majority of marine plants contain such a valuable and rare trace element as iodine, and the vitamin content in some types of seaweed can be a thousand times higher than that of terrestrial cultivated plants.Algae contain vitamins of A, B, C, D, PP and M groups. They also include a rich amount of carotenoids, lipids, polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and plant enzymes.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, there are many others. One of the examples is represented below.
Algae bioreactor absorbs CO2 more efficiently than the trees do
Hypergiant Industries Technology Company from Austin introduced a device called ‘Eos Bioreactor’. Its work is based on the ability of algae to absorb carbon dioxide 400 times more efficient than the trees do. The bioreactor is capable of producing up to 2 tons of oxygen per year, which is similar to the production of it by forests growing on an area of 0.4 hectares. The device is controlled by artificial intelligence, which optimizes the growth of algae and their absorption of carbon dioxide.
The Hypergiant Industries website states that unicellular algae has been shown to be impressive in its ability to multiply rapidly when absorbed by carbon dioxide under sunlight. They can grow almost everywhere, requiring a minimum of nutrients. Propagating, algae form a biomass that can be used to produce oils, fertilizers, plastics, cosmetics, fuels or protein-rich foods. Eos Bioreactor compares favorably with similar prototypes in its dimensions – it is designed for use in cities where free space is limited. The device occupies approximately 0.81 square meters. By the end of the year, Hypergiant Industries intends to use the original bioreactor drawings on thematic portals in order to encourage users to develop similar or more compact devices for use in residential premises.
In the future, Hypergiant Industries will try to arrange the release of its devices using recycled plastic waste from the oceans, urging everyone to follow her example. Details on new developments will be published next year. According to Ben Lamm, the founder and CEO of the company, the company’s mission is to use the best technology to solve the world’s most complex problems.
Lamm believes that an excess of CO2 can lead to large-scale negative consequences that will force humanity to leave the Earth and explore other planets. Eos Bioreactor is the first device, which can actually reduce the damage caused to the planet.
Seaweed is a rather young food product, since its popularization and active consumption in European countries began only at the end of the last century. As it turned out, algae are not only quite edible, but also produce an amazing healing effect, since they contain innumerable substances useful for the human body (vitamins, minerals, micro and macro cells). Moreover, as we learned above, they are not only very useful for the body, but also useful for our ecology.