UAE: Desert grown plant ‘Salicornia’ set to replace salt to make healthy burger patties

A hardy plant grown with the use of salt water is flourishing in the UAE's desert farms and is helping to make healthy burgers, which shows sustainable agriculture's potential in the most challenging conditions.

A hardy plant grown with the use of salt water is flourishing in the UAE’s desert farms and is helping to make healthy burgers, which shows sustainable agriculture’s potential in the most challenging conditions.

Salicornia, a succulent, is already in use as a salt replacement in burger patties, which has become a farming success in the Emirates and imports almost all of its food.


The head of marketing and innovation at Global Food Industries, a frozen food manufacturer, Tina Siegismund, said, “You have the salty flavour with less sodium, but you also get other benefits.”

The asparagus-like plant lessens the sodium content by almost 40% in the company’s healthy burgers, which also have chicken, kale and quinoa.

Local to parts of North America, South Africa, Europe and South Asia, the plant is perfect for the UAE’s climate and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as per Ms Siegismund.

The cultivation of Salicornia started last year on several farms around the nation as part of an experiment utilising brine run-off from desalination plants by the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai.

The chief scientist at ICBA, Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle, stated that research was now going on to generate more of the ‘high-value crop’, which sells for over $20 per kilogram in France.

Lopez-Lavalle further added that they went from building this prototype to piloting at scale with over eight farmers, and now the next thing is how to scale up.


In the coming days, salicornia could become an essential food ingredient.

If there is an economic value and the production system is well developed for this, it can become a replacement for salt and other micronutrients that are added artificially to processed food.

For now, salicornia stays a niche product, its health benefits are now known by many people, admits Ms Siegismund.

It is not a product that makes huge, huge profit, but we have faith in it and will continue to have it, she added.

Burger patties made with the use of Salicornia
Burger patties made with the use of Salicornia


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More

Tropical Storm Claudette: tornadoes continue, threats of flooding!

The Tropical Storm Claudette made it landfall early Saturday after moving along the Gulf Coast. Formed on Saturday morning, the storm is expected to...

Dept. of Arab Treasure reveals gold discovery in sugar mine as largest gold reserve

The organization of Treasures, burials and antiquities of the Arab world has revealed a discovery of a Cave of Gold in a sugar mine which leads an Arab country to be the first in the world to produce gold. Experts in the field of mining and precious metals have confirmed that one Arab country has recently made considerable discoveries of pure gold.

Dominica promotes eco-tourism through sustainable eco-lodges, resorts, villas

The nature isle of the Caribbean, Dominica, is becoming the most favoured destination for eco-tourism. The sustainable eco-lodges, villas and resorts are luring tourists from worldwide seeking an escape into the beautiful island.


Egyptian Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa welcomes Greek Ambassador to strengthen bilateral ties

The Minister of Tourism and Archaeology, Mr Ahmed Issa, has recently received the Ambassador Nikolaos Garilidis, the Ambassador of the State of Greece, at the headquarters of the Ministry in the new administrative capital, Cairo.

UAE singer Alira made International Record in India with his original song ‘We Are One’

Emirati singer Alira has made a new International Wonder Book of Records in India with an enormous cast of musicians for seven-minute single song production. 

Indian cold syrups causes 66 child deaths in West Africa; WHO issues warning

The World Health Organisation (WHO) disseminated a product warning alert on Wednesday for four cold and cough syrups produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India during the WHO conference.