[Spain] The Andalusian Undersecretary of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Carmen Ortiz, visited the facilities of the company Fitoplancton Marino, the first European firm authorized to produce food-grade microalgae for human consumption, located in the port of Santa María (Cadiz).
Ortiz highlighted the work of this “exemplary” company that has managed to diversify and introduce high added value products for the areas of aquaculture, cosmetics, pharmacology, human food and aquariology in the market.
The undersecretary also praised the effort in R+D+i that Fitoplancton Marino has made to become world leader in the microalgae production sector and expressed her trust that “in the coming years it will be consolidated as a leader in the production and marketing of products derived from microalgae.”
After referring to the support that has always been granted to the Andalusian Board, Ortiz said through the European Fisheries Fund, managed by the Undersecretary, EUR 1.9 million has been granted for ten projects of the company, totalling more than EUR 3.5 million in investment.
Fitoplancton Marino annually produces about 1,500 kilos of microalgae, mainly Nannochloropsis from Cadiz, which accounts for 72 per cent. This species is primarily used in feeding rotifers (small marine organisms that are used as feed in aquaculture).
The areas in which the company operates are aquaculture, through the cultivation of marine microalgae for feed in this sector; cosmetics, aquariology and human consumption, being the first and only producer of microalgae in the world to obtain European and US approval for direct human consumption.
Currently in Andalusia 8,463 kilos of microalgae are produced, concentrated in the province of Cadiz, but only 16 per cent is sold (about 1,370 kilos), worth more than EUR 668,000. The rest is grown for experimental purposes to be used as biofuel.
Photo: Carmen Ortiz
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