Unilever and Algenuity accomplice to discover use of microalgae protein

The partnership addresses the enormous potential of microalgae that bring innovative food to Unilever's plant portfolio

Unilever and biotech start-up Ingenuity have announced a new partnership to explore the enormous potential of microalgae that will bring innovative future foods to the company's plant portfolio.

Algenuity, which specializes in the development of microalgae for use in consumer products, will work with the research and development team of the Unilever Food and Refreshments (F&R) department to explore opportunities for the launch of microalgae-based foods.

The development of alternative protein sources such as microalgae is a significant step forward in the critical shift towards a fair and resilient food system. By 2050, the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed a growing population of 10 billion people. These foods must meet high nutritional standards while reducing their environmental impact.

Unilever and Algenuity recognize the key role that various vegetable proteins such as microalgae will play in the transition to this new food system. Chlorella Vulgaris, a widely recognized (micro) algae, is a nutrient-rich vegetable protein and fiber source with a low ecological footprint.

Chlorella has a number of additional beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It has been consumed worldwide for many years, but its high chlorophyll content, which gives the plants their green color and bitter taste and smell, has proven to be an obstacle to their general diet.

Algenuity has developed innovative technologies to overcome this limitation. The Chlorella color palette significantly reduces the chlorophyll content of microalgae and still enables them to retain their natural nutrients.

This opens up a wealth of potential applications for microalgae in the food and beverage sector. It offers the opportunity to develop a sustainable source of protein that meets the increasing consumer demand for nutritious foods that taste good.

"Microalgae offer untapped potential as a sustainable, climate-friendly protein alternative," says Alejandro Amezquita, R&D director for future bio-based ingredients at Unilever F&R. "They play an important role in the transformation of the food system. We look forward to working with Algenuity to explore ways to make microalgae-based foods mainstream. "

Andrew Spicer, CEO and founder of Algenuity, says: “We are very excited to be working with Unilever. Our Chlorella Colors platform offers herbal ingredients that are sustainable, natural, not genetically modified, high in protein and have neutral flavors. They are also vegan-friendly and therefore extremely relevant to the growing appetite of consumers for plant-based foods with additional functional advantages. "

"We are very excited about the enormous potential that the collaboration with Algenuity brings with it to promote nutritious foods that taste good and are a driving force," said Manfred Aben, Vice President for Research and Development in the fields of science and technology and Head of Hive, Unilever's Global Foods Innovation Center in Wageningen.

“The transition to a sustainable food system requires that we all work together. It is one of the greatest challenges in the world and will not be possible without partnerships and collaborations. That is what our Hive ecosystem is about. We are happy to welcome Algenuity to our community. "

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