In 2015, I wrote ‘An Investigative Study Into the Beneficial Use of Seaweed in Bread and the Broader Food Industry‘, and I’m delighted to report that it’s been downloaded more than 3,000 times. It’s free to access here.
The primary objective of this research was to investigate the beneficial use of seaweed in bread and the broader food industry. The author began the thesis by reviewing Japan’s consumption of seaweed (the highest, per capita, in the world, with the lowest incidence of obesity and cancer). The author introduced a new Irish seaweed product and examined how seaweed could be integrated more effectively into the Western diet. Using the literature reviewed in Chapter Two, the author explored the nutritional aspects of how seaweed is used both in Asian cuisine and in Western culture, in addition to how seaweed use could be promoted and improved in the West. Health is of major interest in society today, with health and nutrition being very strongly interlinked. The research indicated that, not only was seaweed nutritious, but it was also good for health. The expression “you are what you eat” has become a way of life for many consumers, who choose healthy options over highly processed alternatives.
The Western diet and food culture differs greatly from that of Asia, and so different approaches are required to encourage greater consumption of seaweed. Bread and baked products are consumed by most Western countries. Adding dried seaweed to flour for baked goods, or in health drinks, were considered the most appropriate models for achieving this, and indeed yielded encouraging results. In Chapters Three and Four, the author set out the methods and analysed the results collected from both an online survey and the sale of seaweed baked goods over a six-month period. The responses from both the survey and actual sales were encouraging, and most respondents were interested in eating seaweed breads. In conclusion, it is interesting to speculate as to what the health benefits for various populations would be if merely a small percentage of dried seaweed were added to the breads, pastas, wraps, tortillas and pita and breads of the world.