Two algae start-ups participate in the Innovation Challenge at FiE 2017

[Germany] The most exciting innovations in food & beverages often come from small start-ups who are largely unknown to the wider industry. Vaucluse Provence Attractivité and UBM, have joined forces to launch the Start-Up Innovation Challenge. This Challenge is aimed at the promotion of international innovative projects on ingredients, during Food Ingredients Europe, which is being held in Frankfurt, Germany at the end of this month.

The Start-up Innovation Challenge gives the opportunity for these companies to pitch their idea to the host of F&B industry players that make up Fi Europe’s 1300+ exhibitors and 25,000+ visitors.

Alver Golden Chlorella: This new Swiss company is addressing the growing demand for tasty low impact, high-protein foods, by developing a range of healthy, tasty and sustainable foods with the microalgae Golden Chlorella. Golden Chlorella has 63 percent protein (meat has 25 percent) and is rich in potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B. Chlorella is mostly known for its immune system boosting properties and for detoxifying the body, especially from heavy metals. Other benefits include brain maintenance, eye and skin health. It is also known to promote weight loss and lower blood sugar/cholesterol.

Alver Golden Chlorella is claimed to be truly distinctive and innovative because of its neutral taste and golden color. This has been achieved through a natural fermentation process. Golden Chlorella can easily be added to all foods without disrupting consumers’ eating or cooking habits. This unique product is effectively taking microalgae from a complement to an easy-to-use daily ingredient that will improve both health and carbon footprint.

Golden Chlorella is fermented to ensure the highest levels of micro and macronutrients. The production is highly sustainable requiring on average 44 times less water, 41 times less arable land and emits 36 times less CO2 than for the equivalent of beef protein. Alver Golden Chlorella was founded by Mine Uran, the former Head of Protein R&D at Nestlé who has spent the past 20 years searching for the ideal non-animal protein, and Majbritt Byskov-Bridges, a business strategist. The first Alver Golden Chlorella product was launched in May 2017 in Switzerland at the Vitafoods Europe event.

Byskov-Bridges tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “We’ve identified the following typical customers: vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians. Research shows that 72 percent of clients buy Alver Golden Chlorella for environmental reasons, 30 percent for sports and well-being and 10 percent due to intolerances and allergies. We are looking to scale-up and create a range of products that are high in protein.”

Algobiotech: With consumers becoming more health-conscious, there is an increasing need for natural ingredients in food. Presently, Phycocyanin is the only authorized natural blue food colorant in the European market. The present process of extraction of this blue pigment is complicated, yielding a product that is less stable and more expensive than its synthetic equivalent. Within this context, Algobiotech has developed a patented process for the stable extraction of blue pigments from microalgae and is working on scaling up this production technology for applications in the food industry.

The company claims two key differentiators in Algobiotech’s preparation of phycobiliproteins: Utilization of only natural solvents for its extraction, making it safe for consumption and posing no risk of allergic reactions; High stability of the extracted phycobiliproteins enables its storage at ambient temperatures, making it suitable for easy transportation and longer shelf-life (as opposed to other preparations of phycobiliproteins which require cold storage and protection from light). The stability also ensures the conservation of the inherent antioxidant activity of phycobiliproteins.

 

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