Evaluation of marine algae Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and Kombu (Laminaria digitata japonica) as food supplements.
Crude proteins and their amino acid composition, β-carotene, vitamins B1 [thiamin], B2 [riboflavin], B6 [pyridoxin], niacin [nicotinic acid] and minerals were determined in two edible brown marine algae, namely Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and Kombu (Laminaria digitata japonica). The amino acid scores for five key essential amino acids, frequently deficient in mixed human diet, and essential amino acid index were calculated. The presence of all essential amino acids was observed. The values of essential amino acid ratios of analysed algae exceed the ratios of reference proteins suggested by FAO/WHO/UNU, except for tryptophan, the first limiting amino acid in both analysed algae. Iodine, the most important component of sea vegetables is present in high amounts including the vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin and β-carotene. The content of minerals was high, while the presence of heavy metals was negligible.