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Caulerpa lentillifera
Caulerpa lentillifera in Chonburi, Thailand
Scientific classification Edit this classification
(unranked): Viridiplantae
Division: Chlorophyta
Class: Ulvophyceae
Order: Bryopsidales
Family: Caulerpaceae
Genus: Caulerpa

C. lentillifera

Binomial name
Caulerpa lentillifera

J.Agardh, 1837[1]

Caulerpa lentillifera is a species of ulvophyte green algae from coastal regions in the Asia-Pacific. This seaweed is one of the favored species of edible Caulerpa due lớn its soft and succulent texture. It is traditionally eaten in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, Oceania, and East Asia. It was first commercially cultivated in the Philippines in the 1950s, followed by nhật bản in 1968. Both countries remain the top consumers of C. lentillifera. Its cultivation has since spread lớn other countries, including Vietnam, Taiwan, and Trung Quốc. C. lentillifera, along with C. racemosa, are also known as sea grapes or green caviar in English.[2]

It is a siphonous macroalgae, meaning it is a giant single cell with multiple nuclei, and can grow lớn 30 cm in length. Instead of leaves, the algae has bubbles that burst in the mouth, releasing an umami taste.[3]

Commercial cultivation[edit]

Traditionally, C. lentillifera were harvested directly from the wild. The first commercial cultivation of C. lentillifera was in the 1950s in Cebu, Philippines, after accidental introduction of C. lentillifera lớn fish ponds.[4] Currently, there are around 400 hectares of ponds in the Cebu, producing around 12 lớn 15 tons of fresh C. lentillifera per year. They are usually harvested after two months from first planting, and every two weeks afterwards depending on growth rates.[5]

Commercial cultivation was followed by nhật bản in 1968, where it was cultivated in tanks in the warmer waters of Okinawa.[6] Commercial cultivation has since spread lớn other countries, including Vietnam, Taiwan, and Trung Quốc (in Fujian and Hainan). Most are for domestic consumption, but they are also exported lớn nhật bản.[7]

Culinary uses[edit]

Umi-budō at Miyakojima, Okinawa prefecture, Japan

Caulerpa lentillifera, along with C. racemosa, have been traditionally eaten in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, Oceania, and East Asia. They are almost always eaten raw on their own or in salads.[8] They have been described as tasting "like the ocean." It is known lớn be rich in iodine.[9]

In the Philippines, C. lentillifera is usually known as latô or arosep. After being washed in clean water, it is usually eaten raw as a salad (ensaladang lato), mixed with chopped raw shallots and fresh tomatoes, and dressed with a blend of fish sauce or bagoong (fish paste) and vinegar. Its popularity has also spread lớn the Malaysian state of Sabah (where it is spelled latok) due lớn the migrations of the Bajau peoples.[10][5] They are also coveted by coastal Malay communities (as latoh) in the Riau Archipelago and Singapore, the latter until they were displaced inland late 20th century.[11]

In Okinawa, nhật bản, it is known as umi-budō (海ぶどう), meaning "sea grapes", or kubiretsuta.[12] It is served dipped in ponzu, made into sushi, added into salads, or eaten as is.[13][14]

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Caulerpa lentillifera is also eaten in Vietnam, where it is known as rong nho or rong nho biển, meaning "grape algae";[15] in Korea, where it is known as bada podo (바다포도), also meaning "sea grapes"; and in Indonesia (particularly Bali), where it is known as bulung.


See also[edit]

  • Eucheuma (Gusô)
  • Gamet
  • Nori
  • Sea lettuce
  • Nama (in Fiji)


  1. ^ Agardh, Jacob Georg (1837). "Novae species algarum, quas in itinere ad oras maris rubri collegit Eduardus Rüppell; cum observationibus nonnullis in species rariores antea cognitas". Museum Senckenbergianum. Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete der beschreibenden Naturgeschichte. 2: 169–174. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  2. ^ "Sea grapes - green caviar". Authentic World Food. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  3. ^ Revealing Tasty Genetic Secrets of "Sea Grapes"
  4. ^ Trono, Gavino C. Jr. (December 1988). Manual on Seaweed Culture. ASEAN/UNDP/FAO Regional Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project.
  5. ^ a b Dela Cruz, Rita T. "Lato: Nutritious Grapes from the Sea". BAR Digest. Bureau of Agricultural Research, Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  6. ^ Trono, G.C. Jr. "Caulerpa lentillifera (PROSEA)". Pl@ntUse. PROSEA (Plant Resources of South East Asia). Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  7. ^ Chen, Xiaolin; Sun, Yuhao; Liu, Hong; Liu, Song; Qin, Yukun; Li, Pengcheng (2019). "Advances in cultivation, wastewater treatment application, bioactive components of Caulerpa lentillifera and their biotechnological applications". PeerJ. 7: e6118. doi:10.7717/peerj.6118. PMC 6329336. PMID 30643691.
  8. ^ Paul, Nicholas A.; Neveux, Nicolas; Magnusson, Marie; de Nys, Rocky (21 December 2013). "Comparative production and nutritional value of "sea grapes" — the tropical green seaweeds Caulerpa lentillifera and C. racemosa". Journal of Applied Phycology. doi:10.1007/s10811-013-0227-9. S2CID 15745994.
  9. ^ Ratana-arporn, Pattama; Chirapar, Anong (2006). "Nutritional Evaluation of Tropical Green Seaweeds Caulerpa lentillifera and Ulva reticulata". Kasetsart Journal - Natural Science. 40: 75–83.
  10. ^ Wagey, Billy T; Bucol, Abner A (25 February 2014). "A Brief Note of Lato (Caulerpa racemosa) Harvest at Solong-on, Siquijor, Philippines". e-Journal BUDIDAYA PERAIRAN. 2 (1). doi:10.35800/bdp.2.1.2014.3793.
  11. ^ Khir Johari (Oct–Dec 2021). "The Role of Foraging in Malay Cuisine". BiblioAsia. Vol. 17, no. 3. National Library Board, Singapore. pp. 20–23.
  12. ^ Dawes, Clinton J. (1998). Marine botany. New York: John Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-19208-4.
  13. ^ "Umibudo Sea Grapes". Japan Visitor. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  14. ^ "All About Umibudo (Sea Grapes) - Where lớn Buy, Recipe, and More!". tsunagu Japan. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  15. ^ Jacobs, Ananda (April 22, 2014). "In tìm kiếm of the fruits of Okinawa's oceans". The nhật bản Times Online. Retrieved January 22, 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Lato, the strange sea salad The trade of the Caulerpa lentillifera in Coron, Philippines
  • Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2013. Caulerpa lentillifera J.Agardh, AlgaeBase. National University of Ireland, Galway., accessed 19 February 2013.
  • Caulerpa lentillifera, Seaweed Industry Association