Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 24, Issue 1 2018; Page No.(246-254)

SEAWEEDS: A SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE FOR FOOD AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IN INDIA

Adnan Gora, Saima Rehman, Deepak Agarwal and Sheikh Irfan Rasool

Abstract

Seaweeds are primitive benthic photosynthetic macrophytes inhabiting the seas and oceans. They have been a part of human life since time immemorial for their food and manure value. However in face of recent challenge of increasing world population which is estimated to cross 9 billion by the year 2050, the seaweed resources of the world will have a major role to play in the food security in the coming future. Seaweeds also have a certain important physicochemical properties like gelling and thickening, which find lot of use in the food industry. These photoautotrophic plants are also blessed with bioactive molecules rendering them antibacterial, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. These properties of seaweeds are being explored globally which help to develop drugs or functional foods in order to promote healthy life of consumers. Seaweeds are naturally available resources and are being globally investigated for a wide variety of uses in food industry and leads in pharmaceutical research. Also, seaweeds are important global export commodity representing a trade of US$1.8 billion in 2014. Therefore, they represent a huge untapped resource, which may be exploited sustainably.

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