Microalgae: the protein alternative of the future

25 Jul 2023 - PlanetCorner

Microalgae are emerging in the food industry as alternatives to animal proteins. According to the estimates published by StrategyR, the microalgae market could grow by 5.3% by 2026. Asia is still the major producer, but the trend is taking hold also in Europe. The European Commission has recently established the EU4Algae platform, a space where producers, universities and researchers converge to speed up/accelerate the algae industry’s development in Europe.
Microalgae are an excellent source of protein: some strains contain up to 70%. They are also a natural origin of omega-3, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Microalgae have a low impact on the environment: compared to meat production, algae cultivation requires less water and soil. During photosynthesis, they also use sunlight as an energy source to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and organic carbon (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates)
Microalgae can be used in protein-rich foods such as dietary supplements, protein bars, and meat substitutes. The use of microalgae as an alternative to animal proteins is still being studied and researched, but significant development is expected soon.