Desert-grown superfood puts 'healthy' burgers on UAE menus

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 oil-rich United Arab Emirates, which imports nearly all of its food.

“You have the salty flavour 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.