June 21, 2024

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

Algae grown, harvested and processed applying new tactics formulated by EU-funded scientists could provide greener options to prevalent substances – putting extra eco-welcoming cosmetics on the shelf and including extra sustainable foodstuff to the menu.


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© NicoElNino, #318253599 source:stock.adobe.com 2020

Several of the standard substances identified in processed foodstuff, animal feed, and hair and elegance solutions – this sort of as soy protein and plant-sourced antioxidants – are frequently imported into the EU from overseas. The manufacture of this sort of substances often produces harmful chemicals, works by using a significant volume of water, and generates significant concentrations of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Study shows that algae could be made use of as a highly sustainable feedstock to provide substitute substances to a variety of industries. BIOSEA, a task funded by the Bio-based mostly industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) underneath the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, is functioning on putting this concept into exercise. BIOSEA partners, which include the two study organisations and industrial partners, are seeking impressive means to develop algae and microalgae in bioreactors and in Europe’s open seas. They aim to develop extra eco-welcoming, price tag-successful substitutes for a array of conventional product or service substances.

Their get the job done has resulted in a array of substitution substances sourced from microalgae (Spirulina platensis and Nannochloropsis sp.) and macroalgae (Ulva ohnoi and Saccharina latissima), which include proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, carotenoids and lipids.

For illustration, 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 antioxidants and other substances from algae that could be made use of in cosmetic solutions.

‘During the task, we’ve optimised existing patented cultivation approaches for escalating microalgae in photobioreactors and macroalgae on advanced textile levels in open sea farms,’ says task coordinator Simona Moldovan of the Textile Field Study Association in Spain.

‘We’ve customized these cultivation approaches to the selected strains of algae – focusing on expanding the yields of substances of fascination – by modifying nutrient inputs, cultivation problems, and the parameters and timing of seeding and harvesting.’

Nothing left powering

Now nearing task summary, BIOSEA scientists have spearheaded a zero-waste tactic, aiming for customized extraction on a ‘cascading’ basis, so that each and every refining phase produces new, valuable solutions and absolutely nothing is discarded. Reagents and chemicals made use of by the task crew have also been diligently selected for optimum sustainability.

First cultivated in the laboratory, the two microalgae have been scaled up to pilot scale photobioreactors and have generated the important quantities for subsequent extraction and formulation.

The macroalgae U. ohnoi has been cultivated in laboratory-based mostly photobioreactors and is now also currently being cultivated outside the house in cages. The other macroalgae, S. latissima, is currently being grown in out of doors European sea farms utilizing the 3D textile layer’s patented technology. This new tactic is changing conventional Second rope cultivation, providing a larger sized cultivation floor and hence a bigger yield.

The BIOSEA crew have previously discovered some extra price in their algal solutions, this sort of as substances that have an antimicrobial impact, give protection towards ultraviolet injury, and supply fat-reduction and antioxidant qualities.

Cutting prices

‘This task has the likely for a large social influence, in conditions of algae-based mostly product or service awareness and bigger acceptance for industrial applications,’ says Moldovan. ‘Focusing on price tag reduction, our main aim is to realize selling prices for our solutions that are similar with their equivalents on the current market. This task is the initially step on the road to further industrialisation.’

BIOSEA’s industrial partners have formulated their individual systems in parallel, which include methodology to optimise algal biomass output and for the extraction of customized substances. The task crew is self-assured that there are lots of possibilities for further current market exploitation in a array of sectors.