Food is an essential element for the human body that provides and generally a good medium for microbial growth. The growths of microbes in food bring numerous beneficial changes, including improvements in nutrition and enhancement of storage life. Edible seaweed is also known as sea vegetables, is the seaweed that contains high amounts of fiber and can be eaten and used in the preparation of food. In Indonesia, this food ingredient is used in various food preparations like seaweed ice, jelly, and puddings and also in cosmetics and medicines. Moreover, seaweed contains high nutritional value having carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
It has been seen that not all types of seaweed are used in food preparation in Indonesia. Brown seaweed is regarded as waste and is only used as animal feed. Sargassum sp. is a genus of seaweed in the order Fucales that is used as a superior commodity in a variety of healthy food making like brown seaweed Dodol that is enriched with antioxidants and other vitamin sources. This brown seaweed contains beneficial bioactive compounds having the potential to be developed as a nutraceutical ingredient.
Dodol is an Indonesian-based confectionery usually found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Basically, it is processed agricultural products that have a slightly wet nature so, allowing, them to be eaten instantly without being moistened (rehydrated) but dry enough so that they can remain stable during storage.
Basmal et al. (2013) informed that Dodol is a type of semi-wet food having 10-40% moisture content with a soft texture and elastic properties and does not require cooling and is durable during storage. It is used to make many products in combination with other food ingredients such as seaweed. One such product is brown seaweed Dodol containing a mixture of brown sugar, glutinous rice flour, and coconut milk.
A limitation of brown seaweed Dodol is the growth of microbes in food, which can also result in undesirable physical or chemical changes, making it unsuitable for consumption. So proper packaging required to enhance the shelf life of brown seaweed Dodol. Carrageenan is an emulsifying agent in food products extracted from seaweeds while Chitosan is a sugar obtained from the outer skeleton of shellfish.
Recently, a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition conducted to determine the total microbial and mold counts from brown seaweed Dodol made with an edible coating of carrageenan and chitosan after storage at room temperature. The researchers revealed that Coating brown seaweed Dodol with chitosan can maintain its quality better than carrageenan as an edible coating.