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Desert-grown superfood puts ‘healthy’ burgers on UAE menus

Desert-grown superfood puts ‘healthy’ burgers on UAE menus

DUBAI (AFP): A hardy plant grown using salt water is thriving in the UAE’s desert farms and helping create “healthy” burgers, showing sustainable agriculture’s potential in the toughest conditions.

Salicornia, a succulent, is already being used as a salt replacement in burger patties — a rare farming success in the UAE.

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

The asparagus-like plant reduces sodium content by 40 percent in the company’s healthy burgers, which also contain chicken, quinoa and kale. Native to parts of North America, Europe, South Africa and South Asia, the plant is ideal for the UAE’s inhospitable climate, and contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Agriculture produces less than 1 percent of GDP in the UAE, a country on the frontline of climate change with temperatures regularly topping 50 degrees Celsius and rising rapidly.

The post Desert-grown superfood puts ‘healthy’ burgers on UAE menus appeared first on The Frontier Post.