Ecklonia Radiata is a species of brown seaweed with many beneficial compounds. Seaweeds contain little fat but are rich in vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). (3)(2) Brown seaweed is estimated to contain approximately 10% protein, 65% carbohydrates and less than 2% lipids. Ecklonia radiata also contains a high content of iron and iodine.(2)
Fig.1 Ecklonia Radiata
Ecklonia radiata is not only used as a source of food but is used for preservation in the food industry. A natural and potent antioxidant is valuable in the food industry since synthetic antioxidant preservatives “are under strict regulations due to potential health hazards.” (3) Eckonia Radiata demonstrates a higher antioxidant capacity than “synthetic antioxidants,”such as the commonly used BHT ( Butylated hydroxytoluene)preservative.(1) The antioxidant capability of Ecklonia radiata has been tested to have a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating than other seaweeds. (1)
Seaweed is rich in many different compounds, such as phlorotannins, sterols, and fucoxanthin.(1) All of these compounds are capable to scavenge free radicals.(1) Ecklonia Radiata also has a total carotenoid content of 6.85mg/g and 1.65mg/g of which is fucoxanthin.(5) Carotenoids contribute to the antioxidant capacity by inhibiting free radicals reactions. (5)
“Alginate, carrageenan, and agar are the most important seaweed polysaccharides” used in a variety of industry.(5) These extractants are valued in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. (5)
Phlorotannins are the only tannins found in marine brown algae. (4) The content of pholortannins in seaweed contains up to 15%.(4) Medical research is currently evaluating the use of phlorotannins in conjunction with “cancer, allergy, diabetes, inflammation, and viral and microbial infections.”(4) Phlorotannins have a strong enough antioxidant capacity to protect against UV damage. (4) Phlorotannins show more antioxidant activities than common preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and alpha tocopherol. (4)
Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid with a higher bioavailability than astaxanthin. (3) It is found in high concentration in marine brown algae. (3) Not only is fucoxanthin an antioxidant, but can scavenge free-radicals.(3) This valuable property is of interest in the food industry and has health implications. Fucoxanthin has been tested for anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and neuroprotective properties. (3)
Seaweeds, such as Ecklonia Radiata, offers valuable components for nutraceutical products, food preservation, and as a sustainable food source.
- Kindleysides, Quek, Miller. 2012. Inhibition of fish oil oxidation and the radical scavenging activity of New Zealand seaweed extracts.
- Smith, Summers, and Wong. 2010. Nutrient and heavy metal content of edible seaweeds in New Zealand.
- Se-Kwon Kim, Ratih Pangestuti. Biological activities and potential health benefits of fucoxanthin derived from marine brown algae. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011 ;64 :111-28
- Se-Kwon Kim, S.W.A. Himaya. Medicinal Effects of Phlorotannins from Marine Brown Algae Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 64, 2011, Pages 97-109
- Barrow, Colin James. Nutraceutical Science and Technology, Volume 7 : Marine Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods. Boca Raton: CRC Press.p.298,300,425