Comparative production and nutritional value of "sea grapes" — the tropical green seaweeds Caulerpa lentillifera and C. racemosa

Paul, Nicholas A., Neveux, Nicolas, Magnusson, Marie, and De Nys, Rocky (2014) Comparative production and nutritional value of "sea grapes" — the tropical green seaweeds Caulerpa lentillifera and C. racemosa. Journal of Applied Phycology, 26 (4). pp. 1833-1844.

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"Sea grapes" is a collective term for the edible varieties of the green seaweed genus Caulerpa. Here we conduct comparative analyses of the biomass productivities and biochemical properties of C. lentillifera and C. racemosa from tropical Australia. Commercial-scale production was evaluated using 1 m2 culture units with high stocking densities (>5 kg m−2). Productivity of C. lentillifera in a 6-week period yielded, on average, 2 kg week−1, whereas C. racemosa yielded <0.5 kg week−1. Morphometric comparisons of the harvestable biomass revealed that C. lentillifera had a higher proportion of fronds (edible portions) to horizontal runners (stolons) and a higher density of fronds per unit area. C. racemosa fronds, however, were significantly longer. The nutritional value of C. racemosa was higher than C. lentillifera for both polyunsaturated fatty acids (10.6 vs. 5.3 mg g−1 DW) and pigments (9.4 vs. 4.2 mg g−1 DW). The content of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and β-carotene decreased with increasing frond size in both species. Trace element contents also varied substantially between the species, including higher levels of zinc, magnesium and strontium in C. lentillifera, and higher levels of selenium in C. racemosa. Some less desirable elements were higher in C. lentillifera, including arsenic (1 vs. 0.1 ppm) and cadmium, whereas others were higher in C. racemosa, including lead, copper and vanadium. Overall C. lentillifera has a high biomass production potential in monoculture and distinct nutritional properties that warrant a focus on its commercialisation as a new aquaculture product in tropical Australia and in Southeast Asia more broadly.

Item ID: 32209
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5176
Keywords: algae, Aquaculture,β-Carotene, minerals, nutrition, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)
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Supplementary material available from publisher's website.

Funders: Australian Flora Foundation
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2014 05:16
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060101 Analytical Biochemistry @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 50%
SEO Codes: 86 MANUFACTURING > 8601 Processed Food Products and Beverages (excl. Dairy Products) > 860105 Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods @ 100%
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