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Wasteland-grown superfood places ‘wholesome’ burgers on UAE menus

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Dubai (United Arab Emirates) (AFP) – A hardy plant grown the use of salt water is flourishing within the UAE’s wilderness farms and serving to create “wholesome” burgers, appearing sustainable agriculture’s possible within the hardest stipulations.

Salicornia, a succulent, is already getting used as a salt substitute in burger patties — an extraordinary farming good fortune within the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, which imports the majority of its meals.

“You could have the salty flavour with much less sodium, however you additionally produce other advantages,” stated Tina Siegismund, head of selling and innovation at UAE-based World Meals Industries, a frozen meals producer.

The asparagus-like plant reduces sodium content material through 40 {614fc3c32b079590f5b6a33afe99f1781dd92265c15f5c1e8aa861cac1d0c269} within the corporate’s wholesome burgers, which additionally comprise rooster, quinoa and kale.

Salicornia plant-based burger patties are produced at a food processing plant in the Gulf emirate of Sharjah
Salicornia plant-based burger patties are produced at a meals processing plant within the Gulf emirate of Sharjah Karim SAHIB AFP

Local to portions of North The united states, Europe, South Africa and South Asia, the plant is perfect for the UAE’s inhospitable local weather, and comprises anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory homes, in keeping with Siegismund.

Agriculture produces lower than one {614fc3c32b079590f5b6a33afe99f1781dd92265c15f5c1e8aa861cac1d0c269} of GDP within the UAE, a rustic at the frontline of local weather alternate with temperatures ceaselessly topping 50 levels Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) and emerging all of a sudden.

Salicornia cultivation started closing 12 months in numerous farms around the UAE as a part of an experiment the use of brine run-off from desalination crops through the Dubai-based Global Middle for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA).

Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle, leader scientist at ICBA, stated analysis used to be now underway into producing extra of the “high-value crop”, which sells for $20 a kilo (2.2 kilos) in France.

Salicornia cultivation began last year in a number of farms across the UAE
Salicornia cultivation started closing 12 months in numerous farms around the UAE Karim SAHIB AFP

“We went from… construction this prototype, to piloting at scale with 8 farmers, and now the query is the best way to scale up,” Lopez-Lavalle informed AFP.

Sooner or later, salicornia may just “transform a truly vital meals component” he added.

“If there’s an financial price and the manufacturing gadget is advanced for this, it will probably transform a substitute for salt and another micronutrients which might be added these days artificially to processed meals.”

For now, salicornia stays a distinct segment product, its well being advantages unknown to maximum, admits Siegismund.

“It isn’t a product that makes large, large benefit, however we consider in it and we can proceed,” she stated.