The potential of various duckweeds (water lens) as a human food source

Photo credit: Science Daily

Duckweed has a huge potential as a human food source.
Credit: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU Jena

Wolffia globosa, a tiny, rootless duckweed, or water lens, apparently has what it takes to achieve great things.

Researchers at the University of Jena (Germany), together with colleagues in India and Germany, have investigated the potential of various duckweeds as a human food source. The results, which are very promising, have been published under the title ‘Nutritional value of duckweeds (Lemnaceae) as human food” in the leading journal Food Chemistry.

“Duckweeds can definitely serve as a source of protein in human nutrition,” says Prof. Gerhard Jahreis of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It is not without reason that duckweeds are dubbed ‘green machines’, the nutritional scientist adds. Jahreis explains that the protein content of duckweeds is comparable to that of lupins, rape or peas, with a protein yield of 30 per cent of dry weight. What is more, these tiny plants contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids such as stearidonic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Possible uses for duckweeds would be in the ever-popular smoothies or gluten-free baked goods.

Read the full story: Science Daily

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.