The key to making junk foods healthier without changing the taste could be to add a seaweed extract, researchers have found.
 
Scientists at Newcastle University found that adding alginate to foods such as burgers, pies and cakes could make them healthier without altering the taste, reported BBC News Online. The seaweed extract would improve the healthiness of such foods by improving the fibre content, the researchers said. The alginate could also help people feel fuller after a meal.

"We're just not eating enough fibre, yet we need this to keep us healthy," researcher Professor Jeff Pearson was quoted by the BBC as saying. "The problem is that a lot of people don't enjoy many of the foods that are high in fibre, like fruit and vegetables, yet to consume the recommended daily amount of fibre they would have to eat a lot of these types of foods."

The researchers said that because it is hard to change people's eating habits, one solution is to improve the healthiness of the foods they eat.

The extract, which is already used by food manufacturers as a gelling agent, could be added to burgers, yoghurts, pork pies and even bread.

The research was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.