This study investigated the fucoxanthin content of New Zealand (NZ) Undaria pinnatifida harvested from two locations in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand across its growing season. Fucoxanthin content and antioxidant properties of processed New Zealand U. pinnatifida and commercial wakame from Japan and Korea were further compared. Results showed that U. pinnatifida harvested from Port Underwood had higher fucoxanthin content in the blade compared to Pelorus Sound. The sporophyll also contained a significant amount of fucoxanthin throughout the harvest season, although lower than in the blade. Two antioxidant measurement methods, DPPH and CUPRAC, were utilised to measure antioxidant activities. Processed NZ U. pinnatifida had a lower fucoxanthin content and antioxidant activity than freeze-dried Undaria. Fucoxanthin content and antioxidant activities of NZ processed U. pinnatifida were not significantly different from other commercial samples from Japan and Korea. In conclusion, U. pinnatifida in New Zealand has a great potential to be a food and nutraceutical resource.
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