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Why is algae making its way to more supermarket shelves?

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 2:21:00 PM

Today, consumers can find foAlgavia productsod with algae in up to ten supermarket aisles, including the bakery, snacks, beverages, nutritional meals, and bars, but this is just the beginning. This month, TerraVia and Univar, a distributor of food ingredients and provider of value-added services across Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), announced a distribution agreement across Europe for the AlgaVia brand of whole algae ingredients. The AlgaVia ingredients provide an array of benefits that can make reduced-fat foods tastes richer, reduce saturated fat and solve our depleting food stock. According to Innova Market Insights data, products launched in algae have almost doubled since last year from 7.2 per cent to 14.2 per cent in 2016. Commonly referred to as - the third generational biofuel, this growing trend of eating plant-based foods is prompting a rise in demand for plant-based proteins across the world.

While manufacturers have already recognised the potential for algae protein, TerraVia see great opportunity for elevating algae into consumer conversations around plant-based protein sources. According to Lux Research, 'alternative proteins' such as soy, algae, pea, rice and canola, will account for up to a third of the protein market by 2054. 

AlgaVia Protein-Rich Whole Algae is claimed to be unique versus traditional plant-based proteins as it is a whole food, not a processed isolate or concentrate and yet contains approximately 65% vegan protein, with high protein digestibility. It also delivers dietary fibre and beneficial lipids and contains all essential amino acids. This whole food ingredient is also distinct from typical plant-based proteins because of its natural encapsulation, which helps enable food manufacturers to formulate with higher levels of protein while maintaining a food’s natural texture and consistency. AlgaVia Protein-Rich Whole Algae is non-GMO, gluten-free and free of known allergens.

The collaboration reveals the potential in this market. Simon Atkins, EMEA Industry Director, Univar Food Ingredients said, "TerraVia's innovative portfolio of products and company culture complement Univar's approach and direction. This portfolio will enable our customers to manufacture the next generation of food products to support the most important food trends that we see in the marketplace in 2017 and beyond."

TerraVia is a plant-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients company that harnesses the power of algae. The San Francisco based company is well positioned to help meet the growing need of consumer packaged goods and emerging food manufacturers to improve the nutritional profile of foods without sacrificing taste. Their mission is to create products that are truly better for people and better for the planet.

Meanwhile, Univar founded in 1924, is a global distributor of specialty and basic chemicals from more than 8,000 producers worldwide. Univar delivers the tailored solutions customers need through one of the most extensive chemical distribution networks in the world.

FoodIngredientsFirst caught up with Mark Brooks, SVP Food Ingredients at TerraVia who noted the growing trend of eating plant-based foods is prompting a rise in demand for plant-based proteins, across the broad base population. “This trend, coupled with the demand for allergen-free protein sources, has driven industry adoption of ‘next generation’ plant-based protein sources, such as algae,” he says.

At the moment, TerraVia's product lines include Lipid-Rich Whole Algae and Protein-Rich Whole Algae. Lipid-Rich Whole Algae is available in golden and cream varieties, which can replace eggs and dairy fats in a wide range of applications including bakery, beverages and desserts. The removal of the animal-derived components can reduce calories, cholesterol and saturated fat, whilst maintaining the desired taste, mouth-feel and texture of the end product. Protein-Rich Whole Algae, which contains 63 per cent protein and has a high digestibility of 88 per cent, contains all essential amino acids and six times the arginine levels of standard whey. Suitable applications for the ingredient include, but are not limited to, beverages, bakery and snacks for protein enrichment purposes.

"With the accelerating growth of plant-based foods, driven by consumer demand for clean labels and healthier foods with great taste, there are opportunities for our Lipid-Rich and Protein-Rich Whole Algae ingredients across every aisle of the grocery store," said Brooks. "The relationship enhances our ability to serve the European markets and provide plant-based allergen-free ingredients to brands and consumers throughout the regions."


For more news about this third generation biofuel you might be interested in:

Basque consortium aims to develop an algae-based bio-refinery.

Algae discovery offers commercialization path for cosmetics.

Green gold: the secret life of microalgae, the renewable resource driving sustainability

Report; US has potential to produce 1bn+ tons of non-food biomass annually by 2040.

Topics: BBWNFeatures

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in th...read more