Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

GreenCoLab Unveils Innovative Microalgae and Seaweed-Based Caviar, Burgers, and Beer

GreenCoLaba Portuguese non-profit biotech that leverages microalgae and seaweed to create nutraceutical and F&B products, has unveiled three prototypes that will debut at Vitafoods Europe.

The company’s developments include a microalgae-based alternative to sturgeon roe, microalgae artisanal beer, and algae-based burgers. The prototypes feature non-GMO chlorella, tetraselmis, and seaweed, to showcase algae as a sustainable vegan ingredient that can improve the nutritional, functional, and sensory qualities of products.

“These interesting and appealing concepts fuse eco-conscious innovation, nutrition, and flavour”

GreenCoLAB is a collaborative platform between research institutions and industry partners such as Centro de Ciências do Mar and the University of Aveiro, along with four Portuguese companies experienced in algae biotechnology. The non-profit aims to promote economic growth and innovation in the algae biotechnology sector by investing in larger-scale production and diversifying commercial algae-based products.

According to GreenCoLab, its consumer-focused approach to product development delivers delicious flavors and health benefits. Kricelle Deamici, the company’s Food Researcher Group Leader, emphasizes, “Our GreenCoLab algae-based portfolio represents a leap forward in health-led vegan nutrition, introducing sustainable, great tasting and attractive alternatives that have never been seen before.”

A photo of seaweed
© GreenCoLab

“These interesting and appealing concepts fuse eco-conscious innovation, nutrition, and flavour in a way that is only possible thanks to scientific advancement, knowledge transfer, and collaboration in the field of algal biotechnology,” adds Deamici.

The unlimited potential of algae

Algae-based nutrition shows great potential for addressing the growing demand for sustainable and healthy food products in today’s market.

Considered bacteria and not plants, algae offer a nutrient-dense and top-notch source of non-animal protein. They also contain fiber and all omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals such as B2, B12, iron, and zinc. Their nutritional content allows for EU-approved health benefits related to cholesterol levels, vision, bone health, fatigue, cellular protection, and immune system support.

Coral's fish fillet on a plate
© Koralo

Furthermore, a recent University of Exeter study exploring algae-derived proteins from spirulina and chlorella found them to be effective alternatives to animal meat and are efficient in maintaining and building muscle. Producers such as Germany’s Koralo, producing alternative seafood using microalgae and mycelium in a co-fermentation process, are increasingly realising the enormous potential of algae and microalgae in alt foods.

Daniel Mendonça Silva, Business and Dissemination Manager at GreenCoLab, comments: “As the paradigm shifts away from animal-based markets, there is a growing demand for vegan alternatives that align with consumers’ ethical and environmental values as well as their taste expectations. 

“Employing algae as our star ingredient, we’ve embarked on a drive to reimagine conventional products, elevate sensory experiences and redefine culinary boundaries.”

GreenCoLab will be at stand J61 showcasing its algae-based product portfolio at Vitafoods Europe 2024. In addition, visitors can learn about alga-based foods at the EABA Algae Pavilion.

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