UMaine researches processing and preservation of superfood

ORONO, Maine (WABI) - A popular superfood is being studied by the University of Maine and international collaborators.

Seaweed, which is gaining popularity as a consumable in the United States, has several health benefits.

But whether they are retained in products that have been processed in different ways remains unclear.

A research team at UMaine aims to develop and optimize processing and preservation techniques for seaweed. The goal is retain the bioactive compounds and improve their bioavailability in the human body.

Seaweed is a natural resource here in the state that has been farmed for at least a decade.

Balunkeswar Nayak, Assoc. Professor of Food Processing says, "We have a lot of production but we have limited information on what to do with this product. So, our lab is helping them to find out what is the best processing techniques that can really save this product for off-season use and also different types of value additions, where you can use this product as a food."

The project is in conjunction with researchers from the Technical University in Denmark and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

It was recently awarded $140,000 dollars to promote human health by developing better food.