September 16, 2019
Wakatū looks for gold in the weeds
Nelson's Wakatū Incorporation, Ngāi Tahu and the Cawthron Institute have secured National Science Challenge funding to research karengo or seaweed.
The project will try to identify which native species have the highest health and nutrition values and can be developed for extracts or food supplements.
Wakatū chief executive Miriana Stephens says it's part of a larger project the incorporation is doing around indigenous organisms, which involves tapping in to the traditional knowledge held by whānau living in Te Tau Ihu about plants, fungi, yeasts and marine species.
"When we think of Wakatū Incorporation's business and the diversity of industries we're involved in, it's quite vast. When we started to look at particular species, karengo was one of the species we wanted to look at, and we know Ngāi Tahu has also had a strong association with karengo as well," she says.
Karengo is related to nori, a popular Japanese seaweed that's high in protein with health-promoting antioxidant effects.
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