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Researchers Want To Turn Jellyfish Into Junkfood Replacement

Jellyfish.NOAA Ocean Exploration

Right now, there is an epidemic of junk food addiction all over the world where people of all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes are digging into chips, crusts, crisps, and crunches that really aren’t healthy for anyone to consume. Researchers in Denmark have recently discovered a rather novel solution to this problem, which involves turning jellyfish into the crunchy delights that will replace current junk food fare.

As the International Business Times notes, jellyfish have been popular in many Asian countries for a long time, including Japan. They are treated either as staple foods or local delicacies, which foreigners generally avoided. With the discovery made by Danish scientists, however, this might just change.

Now, it’s worth noting that all sorts of odd things have been turned into junk food of a sort over the years. The dried seaweed called Nori is a good example of this and the same goes for sweet potatoes or yams.

In the case of jellyfish, however, they have often been consumed in their natural slimy state. This was until one of the researchers discovered that there was something of a crunch into the seafood upon trying it, which set off this whole experiment.

The researcher in question is Mathias P. Clausen, from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark. According to him, he was intrigued by how something that starts out with a jelly-like consistency can suddenly become crispy like nachos.

"Tasting jellyfish myself, I wanted to understand the transformation from a soft gel to this crunchy thing you eat," Clausen said.

Generally speaking, the researchers basically used ethanol, which served to dry up the watery body of the jellyfish in order to achieve that crunchy consistency they were looking for. Even so, Clausen admits that they don’t completely understand what was happening or why.

"Little is known about the molecular anatomy of the jellyfish," Clausen explained. "We are still not completely sure which structures we are visualizing."

What is clear in this development is that jellyfish chips would be infinitely healthier than the potato or corn derivative that are currently the most popular in the junk food market. It could also help with the booming population of the marine organisms, which do present a threat to their ecosystems.

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