Greener ingredients from algae to boost bioeconomy – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Algae grown, harvested and processed employing new techniques formulated by EU-funded scientists could source greener options to popular elements – putting extra eco-welcoming cosmetics on the shelf and adding extra sustainable foods to the menu.


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Lots of of the fundamental elements observed in processed foods, animal feed, and hair and splendor goods – this sort of as soy protein and plant-sourced anti-oxidants – are normally imported into the EU from abroad. The manufacture of this sort of elements frequently generates dangerous chemicals, takes advantage of a substantial volume of water, and generates higher stages of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Research demonstrates that algae could be applied as a really sustainable feedstock to source alternate elements to a range of industries. BIOSEA, a task funded by the Bio-primarily based industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) below the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, is doing work on putting this idea into apply. BIOSEA companions, which incorporate each analysis organisations and industrial companions, are looking for progressive approaches to improve algae and microalgae in bioreactors and in Europe’s open seas. They aim to make extra eco-welcoming, charge-helpful substitutes for a variety of traditional product or service elements.

Their function has resulted in a variety of alternative elements sourced from microalgae (Spirulina platensis and Nannochloropsis sp.) and macroalgae (Ulva ohnoi and Saccharina latissima), such as proteins, fatty acids, carbs, carotenoids and lipids.

For case in point, the task has proposed changing soy protein with Spirulina platensis protein for veggie burgers, prompt swapping fish plasma with algal proteins in animal feed, and has formulated anti-oxidants and other elements from algae that could be applied in beauty goods.

‘During the task, we’ve optimised existing patented cultivation techniques for increasing microalgae in photobioreactors and macroalgae on sophisticated textile levels in open sea farms,’ says task coordinator Simona Moldovan of the Textile Sector Research Affiliation in Spain.

‘We’ve personalized these cultivation techniques to the chosen strains of algae – focusing on expanding the yields of elements of fascination – by modifying nutrient inputs, cultivation situations, and the parameters and timing of seeding and harvesting.’

Nothing at all still left behind

Now nearing task conclusion, BIOSEA scientists have spearheaded a zero-waste solution, aiming for personalized extraction on a ‘cascading’ basis, so that each refining stage generates new, helpful goods and very little is discarded. Reagents and chemicals applied by the task team have also been diligently chosen for utmost sustainability.

Initially cultivated in the laboratory, the two microalgae have been scaled up to pilot scale photobioreactors and have manufactured the needed quantities for subsequent extraction and formulation.

The macroalgae U. ohnoi has been cultivated in laboratory-primarily based photobioreactors and is now also becoming cultivated exterior in cages. The other macroalgae, S. latissima, is becoming grown in outside European sea farms employing the 3D textile layer’s patented technology. This new solution is changing traditional Second rope cultivation, presenting a much larger cultivation surface area and as a result a better generate.

The BIOSEA team have previously discovered some extra benefit in their algal goods, this sort of as elements that have an antimicrobial impact, give security versus ultraviolet injury, and offer you excess fat-reduction and antioxidant houses.

Cutting costs

‘This task has the opportunity for a enormous social impression, in terms of algae-primarily based product or service awareness and better acceptance for industrial applications,’ says Moldovan. ‘Focusing on charge reduction, our main aim is to attain rates for our goods that are equivalent with their equivalents on the current market. This task is the initial phase on the highway to additional industrialisation.’

BIOSEA’s industrial companions have formulated their very own systems in parallel, such as methodology to optimise algal biomass generation and for the extraction of personalized elements. The task team is assured that there are a lot of prospects for additional current market exploitation in a variety of sectors.