Written by Katharine Richter
A newly created strain of red marine algae known as dulse has been patented by Oregon State University researchers. According to a news report from Oregon State University, researcher Chris Langdon and collegues who created the strain say it is an “excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants – and it contains up to 16 percent protein in dry weight.”
This new super food has potential to be economically viable because of its high nutritional value, the growth rate of the seaweed is rapid, and the seaweed is versatile because it can be used as a raw ingredient or cooked. According to the news report researcher Langdon stated, “When you fry it…it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
Patents for plants are available under Title 35 United States Code, § 161, which states, “Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor…” The protection for the plant will last 20 years from the application date.
The marketing and implementation of widespread distribution and mass production of the seaweed is currently under works and is expected to occur within a year according to the news report.