Researchers at Oregon State University have recently patented the new strain of seaweed, called dulse.
Generally, dulse is found wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.
It’s harvested and commonly used by people in dried form as a cooking ingredient or nutritional supplement.
Hoping to get around these hurdles, researchers at Oregon State University in the U.S. turned to genetic engineering to create a new food that might one day replace bacon. This new strain of seaweed actually tastes like bacon when it’s cooked.
“Dulse is a superfood, with twice the nutritional value of kale”, Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business, who worked with Langdon to make the strain a commercial prospect, added.
Langdon’s team was originally growing the dulse to feed abalone, a sea snail prized for its meat and its colorful mother-of-pearl shell, “The original goal was to create a super-food for abalone, because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia”, Langdon said in a statement.
“We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature”.
Anything that tastes like bacon is sure to tickle your taste buds – even if it is seaweed? “But this stuff is pretty wonderful”, said chief researcher Chris Langdon.
Dulse, which is an “excellent source” of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and contains a high percentage of protein, could be the answer we’re all looking for, he and his co-workers say.
Portland-area chefs are already testing the seaweed. And bacon-tasting strips, which are fried like regular bacon to bring out the flavor.