Seasonal Changes in the Nutritional Composition of Agarophyton vermiculophyllum (Rhodophyta, Gracilariales) from the Center of Portugal

Foods. 2021 May 20;10(5):1145. doi: 10.3390/foods10051145.


Seaweeds exhibit high nutritional value due to a balanced concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals, a high concentration of low digestibility polysaccharides, and reduced levels of lipids, many of which are n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. The species Agarophyton vermiculophyllum is no exception and, as such, a comprehensive study of the chemical and nutritional profile of this red seaweed was carried out for 1 year. Seasonal variations in moisture, ash, protein and amino acids content, crude fibers, ascorbic acid, agar, lipids, and the corresponding fatty acid profile, were analyzed. We found low levels of fatty acids and a high protein content, but also noticed interesting seasonal change patterns in these compounds. The present study gives insights on the environmental conditions that can lead to changes in the nutritional composition of this species, aiming, therefore, to bring new conclusions about the manipulation of environmental conditions that allow for maximizing the nutritional value of this seaweed.

Keywords: amino acid profile; ash content; fatty acid profile; protein content; red seaweed; total dietary fiber.