Friday, November 28, 2008

Life Photo Meme: Edible

Kingdom: Protista

Phylum: Phaeophyta

Class: Phaeophyceae

Order: Laminariales

Family: Lessoniaceae

Here we have some giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. While not very tasty by itself (to my mind), brown alga such as the giant kelp contain algin. Algin is often used as a thickening agent in many foods such as puddings, ice cream, icing, candies, as well as some beauty products. If you have a thick and creamy food item, check the ingredients and chances are algin or carrageenan (from red algae) is present. While algin may help add to our waistline by being in such yummy foods, a second compound, fucoxanthin may promote weight loss [1, 2].

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