Maximising seaweed concentration by considering different matrixes in food products and consumer sensory techniques

  • Katrina Ross

    Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


    Despite the growth of the functional food convenience and snack market, seaweed containing food products have been limited to small quantities of imported produce; mainly as a salt replacer rather than a main ingredient. To improve this situation, this work investigates UK consumer expectations and insights into seaweed containing products. This research explores the possible application of seaweed as a functional ingredient with unique nutritional, textural, and sensory characteristics, offering innovative food design solutions. In addition, the study aimed to identify the maximum concentrations of seaweed in a food-based application for rehydrated and dried edible Scottish seaweed with the intention of encouraging seaweed consumption.

    The first stage of this study investigated rehydrating several dried seaweeds sent to Abertay, Scotland from the factory and harvest site in Wick, Scotland. Once the data was recorded appropriate seaweeds were selected for varying food products based on volumes, accessibility, seasonality and nutritional properties. Different concentrations (20% and 40%) of Undariapinnatifida (Wakame) were incorporated in a salad, 15% Himathalia Elongate (Sea Spaghetti) in a pesto, 30% Himathalia Elongate (Sea Spaghetti) in crisps and 5, 10, 15 and 20% Undariapinnatifida Wakame) and Himathalia Elongate (Sea Spaghetti) in crackers.

    During this study, lower concentrations of seaweeds were considerably more acceptable to consumers in the salads and crackers. Interestingly a higher fat concentration of the pesto also was more consumer acceptable, and various flavours of the crisps, which were determined by sensory analyses techniques. These results will help the food industry promote seaweed into the food market with a range of successful healthier products.

    As a result of the new product development in this study the 20 % seaweed salads, seaweed crisps and seaweed pesto added to pasta are being up scaled commercially. They are now available to purchase online and in health food stores such as Ocado, Real Foods and Whole Foods and other smaller retail outlets.
    Date of Award30 May 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Abertay University
    SupervisorJon Wilkin (Supervisor) & John Grigor (Supervisor)


    • Temporal dominance of sensation
    • Food science
    • Food consumer science
    • New product development
    • Seaweed production
    • Sensory evaluation
    • Neophobia
    • Oral processing

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