Nutritional composition of Marine Macroalgae (Seaweeds) Collected from Kanyakumari coastal district, Tamil Nadu, India
The rapid process of globalization and the modern lifestyle has influenced our eating habits and gives opportunity to fast foods. Although fast food, unlike traditional food is able to deliver quick meals, it has serious drawback especially with regards to human health. Seaweeds are called as marine macroalgae growing abundantly in the shallow waters of sea, estuaries, and backwaters up to a depth of >80 m where small amount of photosynthetic light is available. Seaweeds possess different nutritive components. Seaweeds, which have multifunctional properties in the form of food, energy, possess the power to prolong life, detoxifying agents, prevent diseases, impart beauty and health can be used in small quantities in the Indian diet for sustenance and well-being. In the present study, we have selected eight species of the marine macroalgae (seaweeds) (Fig.1) from the coast of Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu, and done the proximate composition analysis followed by AOAC standard methods, the results observed, selected seaweeds contained rich amounts of micronutrients (Table.1). Hence, it may be concluded from the present study that the selected macroalgae namely Bryopsis, Chaetomorpha, Dictyota, Enteromorpha, Gracilaria, Padina, Sargassum, Ulva may be utilized as value-added products in human nutrition and Commercial utilization of seaweeds includes: Human food, fodder, fertilizer, drugs, paper production, and the food industry. The industrial utilization of macroalgae is at present largely confined to extraction for hydrocolloids and to a much lesser extent, certain fine biochemicals.