Friday, April 15, 2011

Algae Cake: Delicious & Healthy!? Wait Until You Learn that it is a Waste Product of Biofuel Production

Despite the Fukushima disaster and the possible contamination of seafood and algae from the pacific ocean, seaweed still has a very good reputation among the health & longevity "experts" (especially those who happen to sell respective supplements).
Figure 1: Algae cake (left) and differently processed algae (right);
pictures as they appear on homepage of Dr V Sivasubramanian
And though I do not want to argue that there are lots of studies that indicate beneficial effects of eating whole algae or supplementing with certain constituents, I must say that I was somewhat puzzled, when I read about the "terrific" idea, a group of Indian scientists (Singh. 2011) has recently come up with. They want to use algal cake (basically a waste product of the production of biofuel from algae) as ...
[...] extremely valuable, high protein by-product of our system that will be used for the production of nutritional food additives, vitamin supplements, animal/fish feed and other valuable consumer products.
Somehow that reminds me of the economically clever, yet from a health perspective questionable practice of feeding cows and other cattle with fishmeal, another "by-product"  which has traditionally been produced from the waste products of the fishery industry and has - among other health problems - been implicated as a contributing factor to the rise of BSE infection, everyone seems to have forgotten about, these days... But, hey, these are just my 2 cents. If anyone of you has the chance to taste one of these outstanding "cakes" let me know how it did you ;-)