Quality and Safety Assessment of Edible Seaweeds Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima Cultivated in Scotland

Anastasia E. Lytou, Eirini Schoina, Yunge Liu, Kati Michalek, Michele S. Stanley, Efstathios Z. Panagou, George-john E. Nychas

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Within Europe over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in seaweeds cultivated for human consumption. For food safety reasons, it is important to assess the microbiological and nutritional quality of the biomass. The fresh and dried edible seaweeds Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima were assessed over two consecutive years for the presence of microorganisms. Seaweed samples supplied from Scotland were stored under isothermal conditions for specific time intervals depending on the sample’s condition (fresh, dried or rehydrated). During storage, microbiological analyses were performed for the enumeration of Total Viable Counts (TVC), Pseudomonas spp., Enterobacteriaceae and Bacillus spp., as well as yeasts and molds. Additionally, bacterial colonies from the Marine Agar growth medium were isolated and subjected to PCR-RAPD analysis for characterization of the bacterial diversity of seaweeds. Bacterial isolates with different fingerprint patterns were further subjected to sequencing (16S rDNA, V1–V4 region). The presence of human pathogenic bacteria was also investigated. Results showed that the initial population of TVC was differentiated depending on the year of seaweed harvest, being closer to the enumeration limit (1.0 log CFU/g) in fresh samples from 2020 and higher in samples from 2019 (6.7 and 3.9 log CFU/g in A. esculenta and S. latissima, respectively). DNA-based analysis revealed the presence of Psychrobacter, Cobetia and Pseudomonas species in A. esculenta, while Psychrobacter and Micrococcus species were present in S. latissima
Original languageEnglish
Article number2210
Number of pages18
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021


  • macroalgae
  • microorganisms
  • spoliage
  • nutrition facts
  • drying
  • rehydration
  • kelp


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