There is currently hardly any frozen seaweed on the market. However, this stabilization method on chopped seaweed could facilitate their use by food processors and consumers in the same manner as for frozen vegetables or aromatic herbs. To learn more about this method of preparation combining quality and convenience of use, three different deep-freezing processes (forced air freezing, fluidized bed freezing and cryogenic flash-freezing) were tested on different types of seaweed and halophyte plants, with contrasting results.
Fluidized and cryogenic bed freezing gave satisfactory results for many varieties such as Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta or Palmaria palmata which retained their texture and colour after thawing.
For Himantalia elongata, fluidized bed freezing was the most suitable technique; cryogenic flash-freezing tended to fragment this more fragile species into little pieces.
Forced air freezing tended to form compact agglomerates, making frozen seaweed difficult to handle. This was not, however, the case for sea fennel and Salicornia. These halophytic plants freeze efficiently with this process. Nevertheless, Salicornia did not tolerate freezing very well and its original texture and crunch deteriorated after thawing.
These data originate from a collaborative project involving the partners of Sensalg: CEVA, ADRIA, IDmer, the Contemporary Culinary Centre and Vegenov.
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