Edible brown seaweeds: a review
Seaweeds play a vital role as a source of food and ingredients in traditional Korean medicine. Koreans consume seaweed as fresh vegetables, salad, soups, or snacks. There are several edible brown seaweed species are abundant along the shores of the Korean peninsula, such as Ecklonia cava, Hizikia fusiforme, Laminaria japonica, Pelvetia siliquosa, Sargassum fulvellum, and Undaria pinnatifida. With the growing body of scientific evidence, it is clear that these brown seaweeds are not only good substitutes for land vegetables but also a good source of bioactive secondary metabolites. The secondary metabolites identified from edible Korean brown seaweeds (phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides, pigments, and sterols) have the potential to be developed as functional food ingredients. However, seaweeds consumption and their industrial level applications as functional materials are limited compared to the land vegetables. Insufficient awareness about health benefits of seaweeds might be the reason for this issue. Thus, in this review health promotion properties associated with edible Korean brown seaweeds are summarized. The present study might therefore increase consumption and industrial use of brown seaweeds.
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