Chemical Composition of Common Seaweeds from the Kenya Coast

  •  Heltan Mwalugha    
  •  Joseph Wakibia    
  •  Glaston Kenji    
  •  Mwanjala Mwasaru    


The gross nutritional profile of 34 seaweed species from three sites (Mkomani, Kibuyuni and Mtwapa) in coastal Kenya were studied. The crude fat, crude protein, crude fibre and crude ash were determined by the standard AOAC methods while the nitrogen-free extract (NFE) was calculated by weight difference of the chemical components. The chemical constituents of the seaweeds varied significantly among the algal divisions, species, months and sites (p<0.05). The major chemical components was the NFE with a mean value of 42.09 ± 0.83% dry weight (DW) followed by crude ash (31.94 ± 0.78% DW), crude fibre (14.08 ± 0.26% DW), crude protein (10.09 ± 0.26% DW), whereas the least component was crude fat with a mean value of 1.81 ± 0.04% DW (p<0.05). The crude protein levels were positively correlated with nitrogen content and in crude fibre and negatively with NFE, crude fat and crude ash (p<0.05). The findings on the gross nutritional profile of the seaweeds in this study could be used as a basis for more advanced research on nutritional information guideline and as potential resources for seaweed-based products for improved human and animal nutrition.

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