Salicornia Bigelovii - Uses

Uses

This plant is gaining scientific attention for its potential to serve as an oil crop that can be grown in desert environments and maintained with water containing high levels of salts. It is the source of salicornia oil. The plant is up to 33% oil. The oil contains up to 79% linoleic acid and is functionally similar to safflower oil. It can be used as a cooking oil and a replacement for more valuable oils in chicken feed. Domestic animals can be fed the plant as a forage. The plant could also be a source of biofuel.

Since the plant is a halophytic coastline species which grows in saltwater, it can be irrigated with seawater, making it a potential crop for landscapes that can support few other crop plants. The plants can also be watered with high-salt drainage water, such as the effluent from farmland in California's Central Valley. Fields of the plant have been grown in wastewater from aquaculture farms in Eritrea and harvested for animal feed.

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