NUS science faculty and food company to launch new seaweed-based drink

NUS food scientists partner local SME to develop made-in-Singapore eucheuma beverages and food products.
NUS food scientists partner local SME to develop made-in-Singapore eucheuma beverages and food products.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Yang Hongshun, Assistant Professor in the Food Science and Technology Programme at NUS.
Yang Hongshun, Assistant Professor in the Food Science and Technology Programme at NUS.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore's (NUS) Science faculty and the YGC Group Singapore have collaborated on a new drink made with eucheuma, a type of seaweed found commonly in South-east Asian seafloors.

Eucheuma is a fast-growing, low-cost crop exported primarily by the Philippines and China. It is low in calories and high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Its consumption has been linked to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

The drink, which will go on sale at the end of March exclusively on YGC Group's official website, contains no chemical additives, sugar or preservatives. It will come in six different flavours, including goji and red dates.

It took over one year to develop and contains other ingredients such as roselle, birds nest and water chestnut.

The YGC Group, which was founded in Singapore last year, is a food manufacturing company and will be involved in marketing the drink.

Assistant Professor Yang Hongshun of the NUS Food Science and Technology programme, was the lead for the drink research project.

A a media briefing at the NUS on Friday (March 18), he said scientific studies had shown that regular consumption of eucheuma helps improve bodily functions.

It helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer as well as promotes brain development and tissue repair while retarding the ageing process.

He added: " Eucheuma has untapped potential as a commercial food product, as it is nutrient-dense and compatible with other food items.

"This project enables our team to apply our knowledge in eucheuma and strong expertise in food processing to create novel products that benefit consumers."

NUS and YGC Group are expected to deepen their collaboration through further research to expand the range of eucheuma-based food products over the next four years.

The drinks are slated for distribution to commercial retailers in the second half of the year.