Can humans eat duckweed?
Duckweed is a fast-growing, protein-rich, plant-based source of vitamin B12 and other key nutrients that is possibly sustainable.
Astronauts take it on space missions – but do consumers want to buy it?
Duckweed is edible and has a similar taste to watercress or spinach. The wolffia genus has traditionally played a role in Asian cuisine, where it is used as a nutritious vegetable by the Thai, Burmese and Laotians.
Many varieties of duckweed are edible, and a study from German and Indian scientists also reveals, it is packed full of nutrients. It’s kind of a “superfood”. Their study examined one particular species of duckweed, Wolffia globosa, and found that it has a similar protein content to soybeans or peas, and that it contains significant levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Sustainable Protein Offerings
The Ajinomoto Group has acquired exclusive marketing rights in Japan for Mankai, a high-protein ingredient made from the aquatic plant duckweed. Mankai is a plant-based ingredient that offers excellent nutritional value, including vitamins A, E and B12; minerals such as zinc and iron; omega-3 fatty acids; and dietary fiber. In collaboration with Hinoman Ltd. of Israel, the makers of Mankai, we are co-developing new products with good nutritional balance by combining Mankai with processing and other technological capabilities.
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