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Food from algae

By Gerald Ondrey |

TNO (Delft; www.tno.nl) and Ingrepro Renewables B.V. (Borculo, both the Netherlands; www.ingrepro.nl) have started a joint-research project to extract food ingredients from algae. Proteins, which account for up to 60 wt.% of algae, could serve as a sustainable alternative to meat. Another 30% is oil rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which could provide a sustainable replacement for fish oil, says TNO. Little is known about the remaining carbohydrate fraction of algae. The partners believe the utilization of algae as food ingredients will be more profitable than algae-to-biofuel. In the two-year, €1.5-million project — largely funded by the Biorefinery Encouragement Scheme of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality — Ingrepro will be responsible for algae production and for setting up the biorefinery process, and TNO will develop technologies for extraction and refining the oil, proteins and carbohydrates as well as developing applications for the ingredients.
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