you learn only 3 things about them ...
Red seaweeds are not always red. They may be green, black,
The seaweed used in sushi is a red seaweed!
of red seaweed are used in our everyday processed food
seen? Red seaweeds are found on all our shores. Some are
huge red sheets often mistaken for plastic bags, others are fine feathery
pink tufts. Yet others are bunches of long skinny filaments or juicy
fat stems; or crunchy pink branches that form balls.
Unlike brown and green seaweeds, red seaweeds are rarely found in
such seasonally large numbers as to form carpets on the shores. Red
seaweeds are most diverse in the seas of the tropics. A few species
are also found in freshwater.
seaweeds have chlorophyll but this is masked by phycocyanin
and phycoerythrin, additional pigments which gives them their distinctive
reddish colour. These two pigments also allow
them to photosynthesise
in lower light levels and thus grow in deeper waters where
green seaweeds may not survive.
Red seaweeds may not always be red. If
the pigment phycoerythrin is destroyed, they may appear purple, brown,
green, or yellow. But when held up against the light, tints
of red or pink can be seen. Rhodon means 'rose' or 'red' in
Human uses: Red seaweed are among
our favourite seafood. The familiar dried seaweed used in Japanese
sushi is a red seaweed Porphyra sp. which has been cultivated
in Japan for more than 300 years. It is also eaten fresh. Other red
seaweeds are also eaten. In the Philippines, some species of red seaweeds
are eaten as salads. These include Gracilaria,
Hypnea, Acanthophora and Halymenia.
Agar is an important extract of red seaweed, mainly from Gelidium,
Gracilaria and Pterocladia.
It is used in laboratories and pharmaceutical industries to study
bacteria and to separate and purify various products.
Carrageenans are also extract from red seaweeds, especially Eucheuma
which is cultivated in the Philippines and tropical Pacific areas.
The Philippines is the leading producer of carrageenans which are
used throughout the world as an emulsifier and stabiliser in food
and pharmaceutical products. Agar, on the other hand is used as a
Kusu Island, Feb 05
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N., H. T. W. Tan, S. Mitrovic & H. H. T. Yeo, 2011. A
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K. S. Tan. New records
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Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University
& Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore.
L. M., 1998. A
Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore
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Plants of Australia University of Western Australia Press. 300pp.
H. P. & Menez, E. G., 1997.Field
Guide to the Common Mangroves, Seagrasses and Algae of the Philippines.
Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 197 pp.
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C. Jr., 1997. Field
Guide and Atlas of the Seaweed Resources of the Philippines..
Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 306 pp.