Science

World Ocean Day: Vollagen Develops Vegan Alternative to Marine Collagen Supplements

On World Ocean Day, UK brand Vollagen has highlighted its plant-based alternative to marine collagen supplements, made through a proprietary fermentation process using non-GMO corn.

Vollagen contains the same 16 amino acids found in human collagen, at similar levels and in an easily absorbed format. Consumer tests have reportedly found comparable results to animal-based collagen supplements, with skin becoming firmer and smoother. Participants said they would be happy to buy and recommend the supplements, finding them effective and easy to swallow.

While companies such as Aleph Farms and Avant have developed cultivated collagen made from animal cells, Vollagen provides an alternative that is entirely animal-free and vegan.

Environmental impact

Collagen is typically derived from the skin and bones of fish or cows. While it is often considered to be a by-product, it is still profitable for the industries — and due to loopholes in legislation, British and European collagen companies are not required to track their environmental impact. This means that the conventional collagen industry could be a contributor to overfishing and the environmental issues associated with rearing cattle.

Ooho Notpla seaweed packaging
Image credit: David Lineton ©Notpla

“Alternatives are critical”

Consumers are increasingly aware of the health of the oceans, which is driving demand for alternatives to seafood as well as fish-derived products such as collagen. Plastic-free packaging is also in demand, due in part to concerns about plastic pollution in the oceans.

Some companies have responded by looking to the marine environment for solutions — such as BettaF!sh, which today announced it had saved 122 tons of tuna by using seaweed to make a plant-based alternative. Others, such as NotPla and Noriware, are making seaweed-based plastic-free packaging.

“Our oceans and coastal regions are more important for mitigating climate change, and ensuring a livable planet, than even rainforests,” said Anne Palermo, CEO of alt seafood company Aqua Cultured Foods. “We need to confront the fact that our demand for seafood is outstripping what our oceans can supply. I believe seafood alternatives are critical to protecting oceans, because we can provide protein that is more sustainable, more resource- and energy-efficient, than animal seafood.”




>> Click here to go to Cultivated X where you will see a familiar layout and a focus solely on content regarding cellular agriculture, including fermentation-enabled products, and with more granular categories.

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