The MBA is a partner in this Interreg 2-Seas Region project.
To maintain current consumption trends, the world must produce 50-70% more food by 2050. Current global algae biomass production is 3M tonnes. In the EU, however, only 0.1 tonne is cultivated with 9% for food, compared to 90% globally. Many EU countries allow wild harvesting of seaweed, an unsustainable practice with low quality yields. Imports of (Asian) algae do not meet EU food safety standards. The key challenge: ‘Controlled sustainable production and processing of high quality, stable, safe algal biomass of known composition with important food features and a good total palatability including: taste, aroma, colour and texture’, in order to facilitate change in favour of food from the lower trophic regions in the ocean food chain and investment in the sector. Food producers need a reliable and predictable supply of high quality biomass and consumers want tasty, safe and high quality products. ValgOrize will close this gap.
- Increase innovation within the agro-food and marine technology smart specialisation sectors occurring across the entire value chain. This enhances tech transfer mainly to SMEs.
- Establish an expertise centre/platform that integrates all innovations and improvements (growth, processing, profiling, marketing).
- Increase insight into consumer acceptance of algae products, thus closing the gap between different stakeholders (i.e. food producers and consumers)
- Gain insight into the investment needed to scale up algae production from pre-commercial (TRL7) to commercial (TRL9) scale (via developed investor’s roadmap)
The main output: increased capacity of members of the 2-Seas region to produce reliable, consistent streams of high quality algal biomass and to process it for food, and facilitate emergence and growth of a new sector within the food industry that produces food products sustainably from algae.
- Specific tools and analytical methods from the Analytical Platform to support the sector to assess the safety and quality of products, profile taste (taste, texture, colour, aroma) and upskill operatives.
- An interdisciplinary knowledge-based, open-source platform to support sustainable cultivation and harvest of algal biomass and algae-based foods that meet consumer requirements
- An investor roadmap