Microbiological food safety of seaweeds
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFoods. 2021, 10 (11), . 10.3390/foods10112719
The use of seaweeds in the human diet has a long history in Asia and has now been increasing also in the western world. Concurrent with this trend, there is a corresponding increase in cultivation and harvesting for commercial production. Edible seaweed is a heterogenous product category including species within the green, red, and brown macroalgae. Moreover, the species are utilized on their own or in combinatorial food products, eaten fresh or processed by a variety of technologies. The present review summarizes available literature with respect to microbiological food safety and quality of seaweed food products, including processing and other factors controlling these parameters, and emerging trends to improve on the safety, utilization, quality, and storability of seaweeds. The over- or misuse of antimicrobials and the concurrent development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria is a current worldwide health concern. The role of seaweeds in the development of AMR and the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes is an underexplored field of research and is discussed in that context. Legislation and guidelines relevant to edible seaweed are also discussed.