Name _________________________________________ Activity: Got Algae? Goals: 1. To examine a variety of seaweeds/algae used as foods. 2. To investigate common household products for the presence of seaweed derivatives. Background Information: Although fish and other seafood products make delicious and healthy meals for people around the world, many American children would not object if they never had to eat another tuna casserole again. However, they probably would object if suddenly there was no more cheese, chocolate milk, peanut butter, pudding, frozen desserts, or fruit drinks. What could so many different types of food products have in common? These are just a few food products that contain algae or seaweed. Many kinds of seaweed are eaten by people because they are full of vitamins and iodine. Asian cultures use seaweed like green beans and carrots are used in the United States. However, because Americans have not developed a taste for seaweed, manufacturers use derivatives from seaweed in our foods. These derivatives – including alginates, carrageenan, and beta carotene – act as stabilizers, thickeners, and colorants in the foods we eat on a daily basis. Carrageenan is a generic term for compounds extracted from species of red algae used in gelling foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products. Alginates are extracted from brown algae and are used to make water-based products thicker, creamier, and last longer. From green algae, a natural pigment, beta carotene, is removed and used as a yellow-orange food coloring. It is currently believed to help prevent certain forms of cancer. (This information is from http://pao.cnmoc.navy.mil/educate/neptune/lesson/social/algae.htm). Directions: Rotate through the various stations that follow and complete the indicated activity described for each station. Station 1: Algae in Your Food 1. Read the ingredient labels for each food product at your lab station. 2. In the table provided, indicate with an X whether each product contains any seaweed derivatives – carrageenan, alginate, or beta carotene. There may be more than one derivative present in each food. Product 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Carageenan Alginate Beta Carotene Station 2: Slideshow: Got Algae? Open PowerPoint>groups on homeshare>all students> Got Algae and complete the statements below as you view the slideshow. 1. ____________________ are large marine algae that grow on the coastal waters of many countries. 2. Many kinds of seaweed are edible and rich in _______________ and ______________________. 3. Seaweed derivatives include: _____________________, ___________________, _____________________. 4. The three main groups of seaweed are ______________________, red, and green algae. Each provides important ingredients for manufacturing foods. 5. Alginates come from ______________________. They make water-based products thicker, creamier, and more stable over extreme differences in temperature, pH, and time. 6. Some products containing alginates include brownie mix, relishes, _____________________, sauces and gravies. 7. _____________________ is extracted from certain types of red algae. It is used in stabilizing and gelling foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products. 8. Some products containing carrageenan are _________________, coffee creamer, yogurt, ___________________, pudding, toothpaste, and sour cream. 9. Beta carotene is a natural ______________________ derived from green algae. It is used as a yellow-orange food coloring and may help prevent certain types of cancers. 10. Some products made with beta carotene are ________________________, egg substitute, ice cream, margarine, mayonnaise, and whipped topping. Station 3: Seaweed Article Read the article on seaweeds and answer the following questions. 1. Why are seaweeds considered protists and not plants? 2. How do seaweeds produce food? 3. What are the four basic structures of seaweed? What are their functions? 4. What ecological role do seaweeds play in marine communities? Station 4: Algae Video Segment Watch the video segment about algae and answer the following questions. 1. How are algae similar to plants? 2. What colonial protist is considered an ancestor of multicellular plants? 3. Why is an eyespot important to euglenas? 4. What plant-like protists are commonly called “jewels of the sea?” Station 5: Algae Advertisement 1. On the back of this page, create an advertisement convincing people to eat seaweed. Your advertisement must be a combination of pictures and words. 2. Use the entire page. Be sure to be neat and informative. Use colored pencils for your drawings.