Dulse (Palmaria palmata) used as human food

Posted on: 08/05/2016 - Viewed: 19093
Dulse (Palmaria palmata) used as human food

Dulse, a red algae with leathery fronds (leaves) is found in the eulittoral zone and sometimes the upper sublittoral. It is collected by hand by harvesters plucking it from the rocks at low tide. It is perennial and when either plucked or cut, new growth appears from the edge of the previous season’s leaf. Now it is widely used as human food because of its high nutritional value.

Dulse is harvested mainly in Ireland and the shores of the Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada, and is especially abundant around Grand Manan Island, situated in the Bay of Fundy, in a line with the Canadian-United States of America border between New Brunswick and Maine. The harvest season here is from mid-May to mid-October. After picking, the seaweed is laid out to sun dry for 6-8 hours; if the weather is not suitable, it can be stored in seawater for a few days, but it soon deteriorates. Whole plant is packed for sale in plastic bags, 50g per bag. Inferior one, usually because of poor drying, is broken into flakes or ground into powder for use as a seasoning; sometimes it is added to corn chips. In Nova Scotia and Maine, dried one is often served as a salty cocktail snack and bar owners often offer it free- it induces thirst.


In Ireland, it is sold in packages and looks like dark-red bundles of flat leaves. It is eaten raw in Ireland, like chewing tobacco, or is cooked with potatoes, in soups and fish dishes. One company in Northern Ireland is promoting its sale through pubs as a chewy, salty snack food, and through fruit and vegetable markets.


Dulse is a good source of minerals, being very high in iron and containing all the trace elements needed in human nutrition. Its vitamin content is also much higher than a vegetable such as spinach. In Canada, one company has cultivated it in land-based systems (tanks) and promotes it as sea vegetable with the trade name “Sea Parsley”. It is a variant of normal whole plants, but with small frilly outgrowths from the normally flat plant. It was found by staff at the National Research Council of Canada’s laboratories in Halifax, Nova Scotia, among samples from a commercial harvester.


We have this available on https://seatechbioproducts.com/dulse-palmaria-palmata-human-nutrition-powder-25kg.html

A guide to the seaweed industry- Dennish J.McHugh (Page 87-88)


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