The big potential of algae, precious and sustainable ingredients!

Since a lot of time, macro and micro algae have been mainly known for applications such as biofuels and animal feed.
They have recently started being appreciated as a valid source of natural nutrients in the food & beverage sector.

The popularity of these precious ingredients is increasing especially thanks to the high interest in proteins, vitamins and mineral salts from vegetal origin.
According to Mintel, the number of products containing algae (launched in 2015-2017) almost doubled and the trend is constantly growing.

Considering that research and technological processes are making a continuous progress, in the short-medium term, algae will certainly be considered one of the main protein sources for the “meat analogue” products.
These raw materials do not need irrigation, fertilizer and pesticides, therefore sustainability and a very low environmental impact are very important features.

Algae are classified into more than 25.000 species: depending on their habitat, they can present different dimensions (from microscopic to giant) and colors (green, yellow, red, red-violet, light blue, blue, brown).

The Breton company Nuwen macroalgae (Lithothamnium, Ascophyllum, Fucus, Chondrus Chrispus –or Irish Moss-, Ulva -Sea Lettuce-, Undaria P. -Wakame-), microalgae (Clorella e Spirulina) and marine extracts such as “sea water” in powder, magnesium, Agar-agar and collagene.

Compared to the terrestrial plants, algae contain a bigger quantity of:

– proteins (up to 35% more for spirulina)
– carbohydrates (almost 50% more for kombu)
– mineral salts such as iron and calcium (from 2 to 30 times more)
– oligoelements in particular iodine (from 100 to 1000 times more)

Also vitamins content is huge: besides the high quantities of vitamin B1, B2 and C, algae are a precious source of vitamin B12, that is almost absent in terrestrial plants.

For any curiosity, we are at your best disposal!

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