A worker at Lgem's microalgae lab

© Lgem

Microalgae: Chlorella Growth Factor and Galdieria Sulphuraria Promise High Quality Proteins for a Hungry World

Today, we bring two microalgae innovations unlocking an alternative protein source with remarkable nutritional and sustainability benefits for the growing population. Microalgae used for protein production have a higher yield than crops such as soybeans and wheat, and use less water and land. They are considered an ideal source for producing nutritious and digestible food in the future when climate change and resource scarcity may compromise animal protein production. However, consumer acceptance of microalgae-based food remains to be determined, as these products are seen as less tasty but healthier than animal-based products. A recent report by Allied Market Research, projects the global algae protein market will be worth $709 million by 2028. Chlorella sorokiniana – IICT, India Researchers at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have identified …

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BettaF!sh Unveils SAL-NOM Vegan Hot-Smoked Salmon Made from Seaweed

Berlin-based startup BettaF!sh presents its latest product, SAL-NOM, a plant-based alternative to hot-smoked salmon made from seaweed, following the success of its flagship product TU-NAH. With the new product launch, the company is expanding its product portfolio to include one of the world’s favourite fish species and once again demonstrating the innovative use of European seaweed. Seaweed is often referred to as a ‘good impact food’, providing important nutrients and helping the ecosystem to regain its balance without the need for resources such as arable land, freshwater, fertilisers or pesticides. According to BettaF!sh, recently named as one of the Top 10 Agrifood Startups to watch in 2024, TU-NAH was the biggest launch in the European fish alternatives market in October 2021. The product has been …

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Kelli raised funds to bring to the market its seaweed coating that can replace plastic

© Kelpi

Kelpi Secures £4.3M in Oversubscribed Round to Replace Plastic with Seaweed Coating in Food & Cosmetics Packaging

Bristol-based sustainable packaging innovator Kelpi has secured £4.3 million in investment to scale and commercialize its seaweed-based packaging, which can replace single-use fossil fuel plastics in packaging for food, drinks, and personal care products. The round was led by Blackfinch Ventures, with participation from Green Angel Ventures, Kadmos Partners, QantX, Evenlode Foundation, and the South West Investment Fund. Follow-on investors, including Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), One Planet Capital, and private angel investors, backed the material innovator in this round. The company initially sought £3 million and surpassed that target by raising £4.3 million, marking a significant milestone for Kelpi. The funds will be used to advance manufacturing and gain regulatory approval for the bio-based coatings. Additionally, the company will continue its commercial rollout, having …

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Brevel cheese

Image supplied by Brevel, credit Eldad Shatz

Biomass Fermentation Leader Brevel Inaugurates Commercial Plant for Affordable, Nutritious Microalgae Protein

Israel’s Brevel, a biomass fermentation startup using microalgae protein to create sustainable ingredients, announces the grand opening of its first commercial plant. Last July, the company secured $18.5 million in seed funding led by NevaTeam Partners and backed by the European Union’s EIC Fund, facilitating the current phase of commercial-scale production and global expansion. Located in Israel’s desert periphery, the new site covers 27,000 square feet (2,500m²) and includes headquarters, a large R&D center, and a large commercial manufacturing area. It features multiple bioreactors at different scales: 3, 50, 500 L, and the company’s first 5,000 L bioreactor. At the new site, Brevel can produce hundreds of tons of its flagship ingredient — a 60-70% microalgae protein concentrate for meat and dairy alternatives. The first …

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ALEHOOP produces proteins from seaweed and legume byproducts

© ALEHOOP

European Project Uses Biorefineries to Extract Proteins From Seaweed & Legume Byproducts

ALEHOOP, a European project funded by Sustainable Bio-Based Europe, has successfully used pilot-scale biorefineries to recover sustainable proteins from macroalgae (seaweed) and legume byproducts. The recovered proteins could be used to produce high-value food and feed products, including meat alternatives, snacks, and sports drinks. The project has conducted numerous safety tests to ensure that the proteins address any regulatory requirements and market barriers. Consistently high-quality Seaweed is a highly sustainable protein source as it requires no additional land or freshwater to grow and can benefit marine ecosystems. Meanwhile, legume processing generates byproducts such as seed coats, hulls, broken seeds, and leaves, which would normally be discarded; proteins made from these byproducts therefore have a very low carbon footprint. One challenge faced by the ALEHOOP project …

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Koralo launches a new mycelium and microalgae fish fillet in South Korea

Image courtesy of Koralo

8 of the Most Exciting Innovations in Algae

Algae is essential for human life. According to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, around half of the oxygen produced on the planet comes from it. But beyond sustaining our lives, this diverse group of photosynthetic organisms has the potential to replace animal proteins and fossil fuel-based materials, including plastics and fuel. Additionally, algae can be used to make colorings, food additives, omega-3 supplements, and much more. The algae products market is projected to reach $6.01 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2024 to 2031, according to Meticulous Market Research.  Here, we present eight worldwide algae innovations propelling us toward a more sustainable planet: 1. Koralo’s New F!sh – South Korea Koralo, a German fermentation startup based in South Korea, has developed an alt fish fillet — New …

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BettaFish Seaweed Farm

© wunderfish GmbH

Berlin Startup BettaF!sh Announces Participation in Seaweed Research Project FunSea

Novel food products made from seaweed are set to make the food industry more sustainable. Berlin-based startup BettaF!sh announces its participation in the FunSea project – an EU-wide research initiative to improve the nutritional quality and safety of cultivated brown and green seaweed. This research project aims to develop sustainable food products within three years through the use of state-of-the-art processing technologies and the utilisation of residual biomass from the biomarine industry. The aim is to create a sustainable impact on the entire food industry. The FunSea project, supported by the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, is led by SINTEF, a renowned Norwegian research institution, and comprises a consortium of leading research partners (Lund University, Aalborg University, Fraunhofer IMTE), industrial …

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Coral's fish fillet on a plate

Microalgae / mycelium fish fillet © Koralo

Can Microalgae-Based Food Become a Trend? Pioneering Study Reveals Consumer Insights

While microalgae present a promising alternative protein source with an excellent amino acid profile, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and potential sustainability benefits such as reduced land use, it remains uncertain whether consumers will embrace them. Research on the acceptance of microalgae has only recently emerged, with most of these studies so far originating from Europe, where there is relatively minimal consumption of microalgae. However, Dr Bianca Wassmann and her team from the Singapore-ETH Centre’s Urban Microalgae Protein Production project have recently conducted a survey regarding microalgae-based food in Singapore.  The study aimed to understand consumers’ attitudes before product development — with one of the goals being to create a food product for Singapore — to ensure that final products made with microalgae are appealing (taste, …

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Edonias's founders.

Pierre Mignon (L), Hugo Valentin, and Nicolas Irlinger © Edonia

Edonia Raises €2M to Redefine Plant-Based Alternatives with Umami-Powered Ingredients from Microalgae

Edonia, a French startup unlocking the potential of microalgae to create protein ingredients for plant-based foods, has raised €2 million in a pre-seed financing round led by France’s leading impact seed fund, Asterion Ventures, with participation from Bpifrance. With the new capital, the Paris-based startup will expand its technical and business teams and transition to the scale-up phase. In addition, it will gear up to launch its first product: a texturized ingredient for plant-based meat that is said to offer a meat-like texture, grilled umami flavor profile, plus 30% protein, naturally and without additives. Edonia shared: “We are proud to complete this pre-seed financing round with Asterion Ventures, France’s leading impact seed fund. Thanks to the financial support from Bpifrance, which complements this equity round, we are perfectly positioned …

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A photobioreactor for microalgae. Image: Photobioreactor PBR 4000 G by IGV Biotech [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Danish Scientists Use Blue-Green Algae to Develop “The Ultimate Way to Make Protein”

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have found a way to make protein by using cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) as a “surrogate mother”. In a new study, the scientists successfully used cyanobacteria to produce a protein with long, fibrous strands that resemble meat fibres. The process involved inserting foreign genes into the blue-green algae, which then became a host organism for the protein. Within each cyanobacterium, the protein organized itself into tiny threads (nanofibres). “Being able to manipulate a living organism to produce a new kind of protein which organises itself into threads is rarely seen to this extent – and it is very promising,” said Poul Erik Jensen of the university’s Department of Food Science. Cyanobacteria can be grown very sustainably, requiring just water, atmospheric …

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Marissa Bronfman Future Ocean Foods

Marissa Bronfman © Future Ocean Foods

Future Ocean Foods: “We See Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Main Drivers of Meaningful Change for Our Oceans”

Future Ocean Foods (FOF) was launched in November 2023 by Marissa Bronfman, serial entrepreneur and business advisor within the plant-based food space, with the aim of supporting and accelerating the alternative seafood industry worldwide. The organization currently represents a coalition of 36 pioneering companies from 14 countries, encompassing a range of technologies including plant-based, fermentation, and cultivated food and technology, united in a mission to promote food security, human health, environmental sustainability, and ocean conservation. It was a pleasure to catch up again with Marissa, who outlines some of the key areas in which FOF is working to create meaningful change. Change that we urgently need as our population increases to a catastrophic number of human beings while the population of our oceans hits crisis …

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Poseidona raises funding for algal protein ingredients

© Poseidona

Female-Led Startup Poseidona Raises €1.1M for Innovative Algal Protein Ingredients

Spanish food tech company Poseidona has raised €1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round, with the aim of further developing its innovative and sustainable algal protein ingredients. The round was led by climate tech and blue economy VC fund Faber. Other participants included Dozen Investments, Sprout & About, Proveg International, and WA4STEAM (Women For STEAM). Poseidona uses algal sidestreams and invasive seaweeds to create cost-effective proteins with significantly lower water use, land use, and carbon emissions than animal-based or conventional plant-based proteins. Currently, the company is focusing on side streams from the production of gellifiers, but it also plans to begin using Rugulopterix Okamurae, an invasive seaweed in the Mediterranean. This will contribute to the management of marine ecosystems, and could be expanded to use …

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Umaro bacon in sandwich close up

© Umaro Foods

Umaro Foods Raises $3.8M for Seaweed Bacon, is “Laser Focused on Undercutting Hormel and Smithfield on Cost” 

Berkeley California’s Umaro Foods, producer of bacon from the proprietary red protein, Umaro, announces a raise of $3.8 million following a reported sixfold growth in sales. With the financing — a combination of equity and grant funding — Umaro is set to launch its innovative, patent-holding product into retail and expand its seaweed platform technology platform. The equity funding round was led by AgFunder with participation from Alexandria Venture Investments, Climate Capital Bio, Ponderosa Ventures, and early investor and NBA athlete Chris Paul. The company states that this Seed 2 equity funding round, along with a grant from the DOE’s ARPA-E program for the application of Umaro’s seaweed processing technology to new products, “not only validate Umaro Foods’ innovative approach but also secure its position …

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© Roquette

Roquette Introduces 4 New Pea Protein Ingredients for Improved Taste and Texture in Plant-Based Foods

Leading ingredient manufacturer Roquette announces the launch of four multifunctional pea proteins designed to improve taste and texture in plant-based and protein-rich foods. The French company, which currently operates in more than 100 countries through more than 30 manufacturing sites, broadens its portfolio with four specialized pea protein ingredients: NUTRALYS® Pea F853M (isolate), NUTRALYS® H85 (hydrolysate), and two textured variants, NUTRALYS® T Pea 700FL and NUTRALYS® T Pea 700M. These innovations are tailored to overcome common issues in incorporating plant proteins into food and beverage products, offering enhanced texture and protein density for items like nutritional bars, protein drinks, and plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. The NUTRALYS® Pea F853M isolate is described as offering exceptional gel strength, facilitating the creation of meat alternatives and plant-based …

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Algae-based omega-3 supplements

© iwi life

Algae-Based Omega-3 Supplements May Have More Cardiovascular Benefits Than Fish Oil

A clinical trial has demonstrated that a type of algae-based omega-3 supplement (AlmegaPL, the functional ingredient in products made by US brand iwi life) may support cardiovascular health more effectively than traditional fish oils. The algae oil was found to decrease triglycerides by 14%, four times what would be expected from conventional omega-3 supplements. It also reduced remnant cholesterol by up to 25%, supporting theories that EPA-only omega-3s may perform better than those containing both EPA and DHA (two types of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids). There was no increase in LDL cholesterol in those taking AlmegaPL, whereas supplements containing both types of fatty acid have been shown to raise cholesterol levels. Unexpectedly, 12 weeks of supplementation also reduced hip circumference and body weight compared to …

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Sway has introduced TPSea, a biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.

© SnackTime

Sway Launches Seaweed Pellets to Replace Single-Use Plastics at Scale, Following $5M Funding Round

California-based Sway, a startup creating biodegradable alternatives to plastic, has introduced Thermoplastic Seaweed (TPSea), a “breakthrough” biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.  The launch follows a successful $5 million seed round led by Third Nature Investments. The Helm, Alante Capital, BAM Ventures, Superorganism, and other investors also backed Sway in this round. The funds will help Sway expand its product portfolio and fuel marketing initiatives targeted at the fashion, food, and home goods sectors to accelerate product adoption. “We believe everyday materials should help to replenish the planet from sea to soil. The launch of our thermoplastic seaweed materials, along with an influx of new capital targeted at scaling production, signifies tangible progress toward a more circular …

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Sustainable microalgae protein

Image courtesy of the Natural Resources Institute

UK Project Develops Sustainable Microalgae Protein With Improved Flavour

The UK’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is collaborating with Imperial College London (ICL) and biotech startup Arborea to develop technology capable of producing sustainable microalgae protein with an improved flavour profile. Algae has attracted significant interest in recent years as a highly sustainable protein source. However, current protein extraction methods are inefficient, expensive, and produce a final product with undesirable off-notes. NRI will work to identify the compounds responsible for these flavours, and examine how they can be altered through changes in growth conditions and extraction methods. Meanwhile, ICL will develop cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods of producing algal protein extract, while Arborea — which has develped patented bioreactor technology — will contribute its expertise in the industrial growth and harvesting of microalgae. The two-year …

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SimpliiGood unveils spirulina filament technology

© SimpliiGood 

SimpliiGood Unveils Spirulina-Derived Filaments to Mimic the Texture of Meat and Fish

Israeli spirulina specialist SimpliiGood has become a trailblazer in the plant-based sector by developing chicken and salmon alternatives using its flagship microalgae ingredient.  As it continues to innovate, the company has recently unveiled a new technology to mimic the texture of meat products: spirulina-derived filaments.  Baruch Dach, founder and CTO at AlgaeCore technologies, SimpliiGood’s parent company, explains that they leverage spirulina-based edible tissue engineering to make the spirulina filaments to be used as an ingredient or base for plant-based meat.  Dach says the ingredient is unique because it contains spirulina cell matrices, not just plain protein, making it versatile and easy to transform into fibers. Meanwhile, these fibers retain their properties even when subjected to high temperatures or freeze-thaw cycles.  Moreover, depending on the application, the ingredient provides over …

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Benjamin Armenjon appointed as MD of OCEANIUM

© OCEANIUM

OCEANIUM Appoints Benjamin Armenjon of Ÿnsect to Scale and Commercialise Innovative Seaweed Products

OCEANIUM, a Scottish seaweed specialist, announces it has hired Benjamin Armenjon as Managing Director. He will be tasked with driving the commercialisation of innovative seaweed ingredients and the scaling of its proprietary seaweed biorefinery. Armenjon previously served at France’s Ÿnsect, which describes itself as the world leader in insect protein, where he led sales and commercialisation for the company and was integral to its growth, assisting its expansion to over 300 staff with locations across Europe and the US, says the company. Prior to joining Ÿnsect, he held various R&D, production, quality, and sales positions in companies such as Symrise Pet Food and Kemin Nutrisurance. Last September, the company secured $2.6 million with the funds allocated to begin scale-up and to accelerate the commercialisation of …

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Seaweed tampons

© Vyld

Successful Seed Round: Vyld Secures Seven-Figure Amount with Regenerative Financing Model

Berlin startup Vyld relies on an innovative financing instrument with the Future Profit Partnership Agreement (FPPA) and also receives funding from the BMBF and the EU. Vyld, a profit-for-purpose company, has effectively developed renewable products and an innovative financing model. The company recently completed its seed funding round, securing a seven-figure sum. This funding includes contributions from the federal government and the EU, supplemented by their unique sustainable financing tool, the Future Profit Partnership Agreement (FPPA). World’s first seaweed tampon The current round of financing enables the market entry of the “Tangpon“, the world’s first tampon made from seaweed, as well as the further development of the Algaeverse portfolio for B2B and B2C. Self-titled “ecopreneurs,” Ines Schiller and Melanie Schichan say they are committed to …

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