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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Rapid and accurate determination of protein content in North Atlantic seaweed by NIR and FTIR spectroscopies

Niemi, Calle; Mortensen, Agnes Mols; Rautenberger, Ralf; Matsson, Sanna; Gorzsas, Andras; Gentili, Francesco G.


Seaweed is considered a potentially sustainable source of protein for human consumption, and rapid, accurate methods for determining seaweed protein contents are needed. Seaweeds contain substances which interfere with common protein estimation methods however. The present study compares the Lowry and BCA protein assays and protein determination by N-ratios to more novel spectroscopic methods. Linear regression of the height or the integrated area under the Amide II band of diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spec-troscopy (DRIFTS) was used to predict seaweed protein with good prediction performance. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was performed on both DRIFTS and near-infrared (NIR) spectra, with even higher prediction accuracy. Spectroscopy performed similar to or better than the calculated N-ratio of 4.14 for protein prediction. These spectral prediction methods require minimal sample preparation and chemical use, and are easy to perform, making them environmentally sustainable and economically viable for rapid estimation of seaweed protein.


Seaweed; Spectroscopy; Protein; FTIR; NIR

Published in

Food Chemistry
2023, Volume: 404, article number: 134700