Plant-based products make up about a third of Unilever‘s portfolio and the company is aiming to demonstrate that it is focused on the global transition to sustainable proteins. We reported yesterday that Unilever has pioneer status accredited by the FAIRR Initiative, for its commitment to shifting its food portfolios away from animal-based.
Part of the criteria for achieving pioneer status in the FAIRR report was that the company has an active R&D programme focused on alternative proteins and it demonstrates evidence of using multiple strategies to expand its product portfolio.
The latest news from Unilever came yesterday as it announced its partnership with biotech start-up Algenuity. Algenuity is working on Chlorella Vulgaris, a widely recognised (micro)algae, which is a nutrient-rich, plant-based source of protein and fibre, with a low environmental footprint. It is also very green and bitter tasting but Algenuity has developed technology to overcome these foibles, for example, Its Chlorella Colours® palette significantly reduces the chlorophyll content of microalgae whilst retaining its nutrients.
Manfred Aben, VP Science & Technology R&D and Site Leader of Hive, Unilever’s Global Foods Innovation Centre, in Wageningen stated for a news release: “We are very excited about the huge potential working with Algenuity brings to advance nutritious foods that taste great and are a force for good. Transitioning to a sustainable food system requires all of us to work together. It’s one of the world’s greatest challenges and will not happen without partnerships and collaborations. This is what our Hive ecosystem is all about. We are delighted to welcome Algenuity to our community.”
Andrew Spicer, CEO and Founder of Algenuity also commented: “We are delighted to partner with Unilever on this. Our Chlorella Colours® platform provides plant-based ingredients that are sustainable, natural, non-GM and protein-rich with neutral flavours. They are also vegan-friendly making them extremely relevant for today’s growing consumer appetite for more plant-based foods with additional functional benefits.”