Despite their ability to create matter out of thin air, algae and cyanobacteria have long been neglected by the biotech industry. Recently, however, they have started to gain traction in new market niches.
A ground-breaking Swansea University project is using microalgae to explore how to reuse waste while increasing food production. Microalgae are microscopic photosynthetic cells found naturally in the oceans and lakes. But Swansea scientists are now using a more novel source of nourishment to grow them – unwanted nutrients from food waste. They are now about to embark on feed trials with colleagues in France to test their cultivated algae as an alternative to soya protein.
Growing consumer interest in plant-based meat and seafood analogs is leading to more innovation and investment in the alternative protein food sector. Entering into this arena is new company Legendary Vish, which is creating 3D-printed salmon fillets made from high value plant-based ingredients, including mushroom proteins and algae extracts.
Unilever and Algenuity have announced a partnership that will enable Unilever’s Food and Refreshment R&D team to leverage the biotech start-up’s unique algae processing technology and ingredients to bring food made with microalgae to the mass market.
Kyanos, based in Toulouse, has developed a technology that allows the team to create protein from algae on a large scale. They hope it will help to avoid the harmful environmental consequences that come from other protein sources like animal agriculture.
The Financial Times and other publications reported chickens used for Nando's in the UK may be fed algae and insects as part of a plan to reduce the company's carbon footprint. But Nando's in South Africa says these reports were based on an "unfortunate misquote".
Wageningen University & Research and UC Davis have joined forces with FoodShot Global’s collaborative investment platform that is working to catalyze innovation for a healthier, more sustainable, more equitable food system. Lisette de Jong interviewed two representatives from the institutions to hear what they think about FoodShot’s latest focus area: Precision Protein.
So you’ve got your leafy vegetables and hearty legumes down pat. But if you haven't already, there’s another kind of green you might consider adding to your diet: algae. Yes, the slimy stuff that grows in bodies of water is remarkably edible – and nutritious.
Algae has arrived. For many years, this emerald jewel of nutrition has been lauded for its robust nutrient profile and its planetary promise of sustainability. It has been the focus of multibillion-dollar companies seeking to harness its power as an alternative fuel source.
Food is a fundamental human right. The pangs of hunger do not discriminate based on race, gender or faith. However, millions of people are unequally vulnerable to food insecurity because of systemic prejudices engrained in the world’s food supply systems.