09 July 2013
Sounds unbelievable, but the humble seaweed growing in abundance along the state’s 1,600-km coastline can yield a health drink that boosts brain functioning and increases immunity.
Scientists at the Bhavnagarbased Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory, have found that juice extracted from seaweed has nutrients that are beneficial for the brain. The CSMCRI has received aUS patent for the juice. Tests conducted on chickens by the Mumbai Veterinary College have shown that the mortality rate among chickens imbibing the juice has reduced significantly.
Once commercialized, the juice can be an affordable fitness drink. Scientists say the seaweed drink may cost just as much as a cup of tea does. The Indian healthdrink market is valued at close to Rs 1,500 crore.
"Seaweed’s solid residue is a widely used thickening agent in bakeries," CSMCRI director Dr P K Ghosh told TOI. "But we found that the juice contains substantial amount of potassium, iodine and other micronutrients like zinc which can boost brain functioning."
"One glases of about 200 ml can provide the daily required quota of iodine in humans," Ghosh said. "Even after refining the juice, there are two organic substances that have confirmed beneficial effects on human health and immunity."
The characteristic fishy odour of the seaweed juice has been replaced with pleasant coconut water aroma without any use of additives, the scientists said.