Microalgae based caviar

© GreenCoLab

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

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

GreenCoLab, a 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. 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 …


Continente introduces meat and cheese alternatives by The Vegetarian Butcher and Quevana

© Quevana

Products & Launches

Portuguese Retailer Continente Launches New Meat and Cheese Alternatives

Portuguese supermarket chain Continente has expanded its range of meat and cheese alternatives with products from The Vegetarian Butcher and Quevana. The retailer already offers various meat alternatives made by The Vegetarian Butcher, including burgers and nuggets. However, it has now introduced the brand’s soy-based minced meat alternative, which is high in protein and fibre and a good source of iron and vitamin B12. Continente is also now offering semi-cured plant-based cheeses made by Spanish company Quevana. The cheeses are made from just three base ingredients — cashews, salt, and yeast — and are produced through a fermentation process similar to traditional cheese production. They are available in four flavours — original, smoked, truffle, and garlic & olive oil. Quevana has previously found success in …


MicroHarvest pilot plant opening

© MicroHarvest

Company News

MicroHarvest Opens Pilot Plant to Accelerate Journey Towards Commercialisation

Biotech company MicroHarvest has opened a pilot plant in Lisbon, Portugal, to produce samples of its single-cell protein made through microbial fermentation. In the space of six months, MicroHarvest has transformed a portion of its office space into the laboratory and plant, which was officially opened at an event on November 16. The opening was attended by the company’s partners and investors. The new pilot plant will allow MicroHarvest to test and hone its proprietary technology, accelerating the commercialisation process. The company hopes to have its first product on the market by early 2024, after forming a partnership with a contract manufacturer that will allow it to scale to 1 ton per day. “This pilot plant serves as tangible evidence of the scalability of our …


CellAgri Portugal will host its inaugural international conference in Braga in September 2023.

© CellAgri Portugal

Fairs & Events

CellAgri Portugal to Hold First International Conference with Notable Industry Speakers in Braga

CellAgri Portugal, the Portuguese association for the development of cellular agriculture, is hosting its inaugural international conference on the 7th and 8th of September, 2023, in Braga, Portugal.  The program will provide scientific presentations, poster sessions, and round-table discussions to share knowledge and advance cellular agriculture in Portugal and worldwide. The event will gather experts to discuss the progress and challenges in developing novel products using cell ag technologies. Four leading industry experts will participate:  Isha Datar, executive director of the non-profit research institute New Harvest Mark Post, professor at Maastricht University, CSO of Mosa Meat and Qorium Vítor Espírito Santo, senior director of cellular agriculture at GOOD Meat Andrew Stout, entrepreneur in residence at Tufts University cell ag development labs CellAgri Portugal invites participants to present their work by submitting abstracts …


tap air portugal vegan dish


Tourism & Travel

TAP Air Expects its New Vegan Inflight Meals to Be Most Popular Request in 2023

TAP Air Portugal is introducing special meals on board. New vegan inflight meals, as well as vegetarian, dietary, halal, kosher, gluten-free, and lactose-free options, are now available on the airline’s cabin food offer in response to the growing demand for alternatives.  It is estimated that more than 90,000 special meals will be served on board TAP Air Portugal aircraft during 2023, and based on 2022 figures, vegan and vegetarian meals are expected to be the most popular options. Using the slogan, “trips for all tastes,” the company promises taste, freshness, and quality in its new range created to address passengers’ needs related to allergies, intolerances, food restrictions, and cultural and religious specificities.  Meatballs, soups, and Indian recipes The vegan offer includes dishes such as meatballs, …


Heura lasagne Iberojet

Image courtesy Heura Foods

Tourism & Travel

Heura and Iberojet Collaborate to Bring Tutti Foods Vegan Lasagne to Onboard Menu

Heura and Iberojet, the Spanish / Portuguese charter airline, recently collaborated to add a 100% plant-based lasagne dish to its onboard menus. The vegan Bolognese lasagne, made with Heura‘s vegetable protein meat, fresh egg-free pasta sheets, cauliflower-based béchamel sauce and grated vegan cheese, has been available since January 9 on 40% of flights departing from Spain and Portugal. “Iberojet makes available to all passengers a 100% vegetable dish suitable for vegans, turning into a commodity an option which is usually offered as a premium category or special offer,” says Director of Customer Experience Juan José Salgueiro of Iberojet. This initiative has been possible thanks to the alliance between Tutti Food Group, a company specialized in the production of frozen ready meals, and Heura, the leading …


Portuguese supermarket chain Continente launches vegan yogurt

© Continente

Products & Launches

Portuguese Supermarket Continente Expands Vegan Range With Dairy-Free Yogurts

Portuguese supermarket chain Continente has expanded its Powered by Plants brand with a selection of vegan yogurts. Called Vegegurtes, the range contains both almond and coconut-based options. The almond yogurts are available in the varieties Natural, Red Fruits, and Peach Passionfruit, while the coconut yogurts come in the flavours Natural, Strawberry, and Mango Passion Fruit. The range is made in Portugal and available at Continente stores across the country. The yogurts are all fortified with calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, and have been certified vegan by the internationally recognised V-Label. Continente also offers several varieties of plant-based yogurt made by brands such as Alpro and Sojasun. Additionally, the chain’s Powered by Plants range features a selection of meat alternatives, including burgers, nuggets, and meatballs. …



© Burger King Portugal

Fast Food

Burger King Portugal Trials 100% Vegan Restaurant in Lisbon

For a month, Burger King Portugal‘s restaurant at Rua de Belém in Lisbon turns vegan. The 400 to 500 customers who visit this Burger King daily will only be able to eat animal-free food. This will be the fast chain’s first 100% vegan restaurant in the Iberian peninsula, offering customers vegan versions of classics such as the Whopper, Big King, and Long Chicken, created in partnership with The Vegetarian Butcher. Everything vegan In the month-long pop-up, which aims to test consumer preferences, not only the burgers are animal-free. All the menu items were adapted to the vegan concept. “We have eliminated all animal products from our kitchen to ensure food safety,” assures Jorge Carvalho, general manager of BK Spain & Portugal. The cheese and bacon …


Veganario Fest

© Veganario Fest

Fairs & Events

Lisbon’s Biggest Vegan Festival ‘Veganário Fest’ Returns This Weekend

Veganario Fest, one of the biggest vegan festivals in Portugal, will take place this weekend of the 1st and 2nd of October at the ISEL camp. The purpose of the festival is to introduce the public to vegan products currently available on the market, including food, hygiene, clothing, footwear and books, among others. In addition, within this event there will also be an information portal with a conference format dealing with issues of ecology and sustainability, health and nutrition, sport, childhood, and animal rights. The festival also includes educational spaces for children, workshops and concerts for different age groups. This event is characterised by the voluntary work of citizens committed to the environment and animals; the exclusive marketing of products and alternatives of plant origin; …


McPlant Portugal

© McDonald's

Fast Food

McPlant Arrives in McDonald’s Portugal, Rolling Into 190 Locations Nationwide

As of 8th September, McDonald’s Portugal is now offering the McPlant, a plant-based burger exclusively developed in collaboration with Beyond Meat. The burger is now available at all of the country’s 190 restaurants. McDonalds partnered with Beyond Meat initially in 2020 to bring plant-based meat to its menu, signing a 3 year deal for the collaboration in 2021. The item rolled out into the UK and Ireland then trialled in Texas, Iowa, Louisiana, and California before expanding into 600 locations across the US in early 2022. This year the McPlant arrived in Australia and saw success in Ireland, where McDonald’s has said it is “delighted” with its sales performance. “Long-awaited” Sérgio Leal, marketing and communications director of McDonald’s Portugal, commented: “The arrival of McPlant in …


shoes made from upcycled coffee grounds


Leather Alternatives

Coffee Leather: Nespresso and Zèta Create ‘Re:Ground’ Sneakers From Upcycled Grounds

Zero-waste leather manufacturer Zèta has partnered with Nespresso, an operating unit of the Nestlé Group, to create a sneaker collection made from upcycled coffee grounds. Founded in September 2020, the zero-waste fashion startup from Portugal started off as a footwear producer focused on sneakers made from recycled paper and organic grape waste. After receiving a message on LinkedIn in January 2021 from Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff, asking “What about coffee?”, Babin realised that there was no coffee leather commercially available on the market and was inspired to innovate a new coffee material that could be transformed into sneakers. Re:Ground Re:Ground, a limited-edition line of coffee sneakers by Zèta constructed from 80% recycled and repurposed materials, was inspired by the ideas of zero-waste, eco-design, and …


Portugal's first vegan egg

Image: @maylaarauj0 on Instagram

Egg Alternatives

Plantalicious Develops “Portugal’s First Vegan Egg”

A project called Plantalicious at the Centre for Food Education and Research (CFER) has created what it claims is Portugal’s first vegan egg. Plantalicious was founded by researcher Mayla Araújo and CFER CEO Daniel Abegão. The project’s liquid egg substitute was developed after five years of research, with the aim of catering to Portugese vegans and those with egg allergies. Made from soy, the plant-based egg provides a more sustainable alternative to poultry eggs, taking significantly less water to produce. Additionally, it is a healthier option for those with heart issues as it is free of cholesterol. Plantalicious’ egg is not yet on the market, but the founders say it is set to launch soon. The project has attracted interest from as far afield as …


© NAE Vegan Shoes


NAE Vegan Shoes Launches Upcycled Apple Leather Collection

Portugese brand NAE Vegan Shoes has launched a new summer shoe collection called SS22. The sustainable shoes are made from apple leather, which uses upcycled waste from the Italian juice industry. Thousands of tons of cores and peels are produced by the industry every year, sending a huge amount of waste to landfill and generating high management costs for companies. But these discards can be recovered and converted into a powder, which can be used as a substitute for oil derivatives such as PU to make a sustainable, durable, and waterproof vegan alternative to leather. NAE’s new SS22 collection features sustainable sandals made from this apple-derived leather alternative, manufactured locally in Portugal to ensure fair conditions for workers. Previous shoes by NAE have used other …


burger king's be king vegetal burger

© Burger King Portugal

Gastronomy & Food Service

Burger King Launches Big King Vegetal in Portugal, Debuts “Meat?” Ad Campaign

Article updated Jan 2024: Following the launch and success of the Big King Vegetal, Burger King Portugal trialed a 100% vegan pop-up location in Lisbon for an entire month. It’s unclear how the public reacted to the pop-up location, as there have been no further details, but it is clear that plant-based burgers are still incredibly popular in Portugal. Not only has Burger King continued sales of the Big King Vegetal, but the chain has also added the Big King XXL Vegetal, which it serves alongside a ‘whopping’ 18 other plant-based burger options.  Burger King Portugal has launched a new meat-free option, the Big King Vegetal. It is the fourth plant-based menu item the fast-food chain has introduced in the country. The new burger consists …



The Weekend bag by ©Frida Rome available at www.ImmaculateVegan.com  

Leather Alternatives

Portugal Bans ‘Vegan Leather’, Industry Insiders Speak Out

A ban on the term ‘vegan leather’ and other plant-based prefixes has been announced in Portugal. Alt leather companies now using prefixes such as ‘vegan’, ‘plant-based’, or ‘pineapple’ or even “synthetic” along with the word “leather” in their product marketing may face fines and criminal proceedings.  Portugal has a thriving fashion and textiles industry, with companies like B_Boheme producing sustainable shoes from vegan leather in the country. Founder Alicia Lai told vegconomist; “We have all heard the terms ‘vegan sausage’, ‘vegan chocolate’ and ‘vegan leather’. These terms are not aiming to mislead consumers but to show that there are no animal ingredients in the product, and these terms are very much accepted”. The new laws claim that terms such as ‘vegan leather’ are technically incorrect …


cultivated seabass fillet

© GFI/University of Lisbon

Cultivated Seafood

Scientists Use Algae to Develop Cultivated Seabass Fillet Without Bones

Scientists from the University of Lisbon have begun a project called Algae2Fish, with the aim of developing a boneless cultivated seabass fillet. The project has been made possible with funding from The Good Food Institute. Associate Professor Frederico Ferreira from the university’s Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences will lead a team of scientists working on the project. They will use fish cells to grow a cultivated seabass fillet free of the mercury and microplastics often found in conventional fish. 3D printing technology will be used to produce scaffolds that will give the fillet structure, replicating the fibrous texture of fish. The scaffolds will be formed using material from algae and plants, with the algae contributing valuable omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in conventional …




Investments & Finance

Portuguese Conglomerate Sonae Acquires UK’s Gosh Food For £64M

Portuguese conglomerate Sonae has this week acquired Claybell Limited, owner of Gosh Food, known in the UK for its range of vegan sausages, burgers and falafels. The deal is reported to have taken place for around £64 million via Sonae Food4Future. According to Foodbev News, Gosh recorded a normalised turnover of £22 million for the year ending in May 2021 and the company will continue to be managed by the current team, who will hold the remaining 4.6% minority stake. Sonae states that the acquisition is in line with its active portfolio management strategy. The take-over was rumoured this July with estimates of £50 million and the deal has been finalised for a substantially larger sum as demand for plant-based products continues to skyrocket in …


allmicroalgae ice cream

© Allmicroalgae

Products & Launches

“Future-proof nutrition” – Allmicroalgae Presents New Superfood Solutions as Seaweed Economy Continues to Boom

Portuguese company Allmicroalgae – one of the largest European producers of microalgae – presents two new Chlorella powders in response to the increasing demand for plant-based food solutions. When compared to conventional, intensely green-coloured products, these new offerings are Yellow Chlorella – which works well as an egg substitute – and White Chlorella – which can replace conventional dairy bases such as milk, increasing the protein content of the product. They are also suitable for use in ice creams, mayonnaises and snacks.