Dutch manufacturer Duplaco has developed a new variety of golden-coloured chlorella, making it possible to add nutrients to plant-based foods without the green colour associated with the regular variety.
Duplaco Gold is 40% protein (including all the essential amino acids), and rich in vitamins and minerals. This includes some that can be more challenging to obtain on a plant-based diet, such as iron and B12.
The product is already being used by Dutch alt-seafood startup Monkeys by the Sea in the coating of its plant-based fish nuggets. According to Duplaco, it would also be ideal for use in baked goods, pasta, and meat alternatives.
“Our innovative cultivation method avoids chemical treatment”
Duplaco Gold only has a slight colour, but the company is also working on an entirely colourless white chlorella that would be especially suitable for use in alt-dairy products.
“Our cultivation method avoids chemical treatment, which is used by other manufacturers to extract the chlorophyll from the Chlorella algae afterwards,” said Marcel Oogink, founder of Duplaco. “Duplaco Gold now allows producers to address the trend towards healthy foods without changing their taste, aroma or appearance.”
The market for algae protein
Globally, the algae protein market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.6%. This growth will be driven mainly by increased health awareness, along with environmental concerns.
Seaweed (a type of algae) is also seeing strong growth, with investment in the industry rising by 36% to reach $168 million in 2021. Seaweed is a highly sustainable crop as it requires no land, freshwater, or fertiliser.
“Seaweed is an important part of the earth’s ecosystem, and it has the potential to be a powerful tool to absorb carbon emissions and slow warming,” said Frances Wang, program manager of carbon dioxide removal for ClimateWorks Foundation.