Seaweed and derivatives of seaweed are used in many foods, including sushi, sauces, dressing, desserts, dairy products and soups. Fresh seaweed is also used in salads, stir fries and stews.
Seaweed is a type of single-celled algae that grows in the ocean. There are many different varieties of seaweed, including Nori, Kelp, Arame, Wakame and Kombu. Those mentioned are all edible and used fresh in many dishes. For instance, chefs use Nori to make sushi rolls, Dulse flakes serve as seasoning on salad, soup and stews and Arame is sprinkled on soups, stews, grains and curries. However, most seaweed can be broken down into three basic groups, brown, red and green.
Derivatives of each of these groups are used in the commercial manufacture of various foods.
From red seaweed, are used for gelling and stabilizing dairy products like soy milk, ice cream and in vegan products.
From brown seaweed, alginates stabilize products exposed to extreme temperatures and helps make them thick and creamy. These foods include dairy, like ice cream and cheese products.
From green seaweed, this extract is a yellow-orange pigment used in food. Some products it is found in, include crackers, bread, soups, macaroni and cheese and frozen meals.