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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Chemical profiling of the Arctic sea lettuce Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta) mass-cultivated on land under controlled conditions for food applications

Roleda, Michael Y.; Lage, Sandra; Aluwini, Daniel Fonn; Rebours, Celine; Brurberg, May Bente; Nitschke, Udo; Gentili, Francesco


The increasing use of seaweeds in European cuisine led to cultivation initiatives funded by the European Union. Ulva lactuca, commonly known as sea lettuce, is a fast growing seaweed in the North Atlantic that chefs are bringing into the local cuisine. Here, different strains of Arctic U. lactuca were mass-cultivated under controlled conditions for up to 10 months. We quantified various chemical constituents associated with both health benefits (carbohydrates, protein, fatty acids, minerals) and health risks (heavy metals). Chemical analyses showed that long-term cultivation provided biomass of consistently high food quality and nutritional value. Concentrations of macroelements (C, N, P, Ca, Na, K, Mg) and micronutrients (Fe, Zn, Co, Mn, I) were sufficient to contribute to daily dietary mineral intake. Heavy metals (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) were found at low levels to pose health risk. The nutritional value of Ulva in terms of carbohydrates, protein and fatty acids is comparable to some selected fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.


Amino acid; Fatty acid; Food quality; Heavy metals; Iodine; Minerals; Nordic cuisine; Protein; Sugar

Published in

Food Chemistry
2021, Volume: 341, number: Part 1, article number: 127999