Using of seaweedUpdate: 12/18/2012
Seaweed has a variety of purposes, for which it is farmed or foraged from the wild.
Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance as food additives. The food industry exploits their gelling, water-retention, emulsifying and other physical properties. Agar is used in foods such as confectionery, meat and poultry products, desserts and beverages and moulded foods. Carrageenan is used in salad dressings and sauces, dietetic foods, and as a preservative in meat and fish products, dairy items and baked goods.
Other seaweeds may be used as fertilizer, compost for landscaping, or a means of combating beach erosion through burial in beach dunes.Seaweed is currently under consideration as a potential source of bioethanol. Seaweed is an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics and paints.
Alginates enjoy many of the same uses as carrageenan, and are used in industrial products such as paper coatings, adhesives, dyes, gels, explosives and in processes such as paper sizing, textile printing, hydro-mulching and drilling.