Use of seaweed by humans is an ancient practice. In Asian countries, the use of them in human and animal feed, traditional medicine, and compost in agriculture is well documented. Since the twenty-first century begins, the scientific interest for seaweed had increased in Occidental countries. Ulva or Enteromorpha is a green macroalgae genus that raises and cultivates around the world. It has salinity tolerance and growth with diverse nitrogen ratios, be able to farm them in aquaculture systems. Scientific studies seen in this genus an interesting profile of chemical compounds: The protein is similar in quantity and quality to soy or some animal products; dietetic fiber percentage is elevated (>40%), being around 40% soluble fiber of them. In addition, fiber fraction presents Ulvan, a complex sulfated polysaccharide that presents antiviral, antihyperlipidemic, and antidiabetic effect in animal assays. Moreover, antioxidant and phytochemical profile has not being totally elucidated, giving important opportunities to scientific community for explode consciously this biological resource.
Part of the book: Alternative Crops and Cropping Systems