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Unilever and Algenuity recognise the key role that microalgae will play in transitioning towards to a new food system

Unilever teams up with start-up Algenuity to develop microalgae-based nutrition

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

· The agreement between both companies reaffirms Unilever's commitment to food based on vegetable protein products, which are increasingly in demand by consumers

. Numerous studies have shown the benefits that algae can have for the body, as well as its positive impact on the planet

· The start-up Algenuity will work in the R & D & I team with the aim of exploring new ways of introducing food made from these beneficial microorganisms
Barcelona - The seabed is a great source of nutrients for people. In addition, those who choose to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have an important ally in seaweed where they can find proteins of plant origin. In this context, Unilever joins forces with the start-up Algenuity, specialized in the development of microalgae for consumer products.
Image: Algenuity
Through this alliance, Algenuity will work in Unilever's R & D & i team, within the Food & Refreshments division, to explore new ways to bring food made with microalgae to market, which will become part of the extensive the company's portfolio of plant products. The development of alternative sources to animal protein, such as microalgae, represents an important step forward in the shift towards a balanced and environmentally friendly food system. Microalgae, one of the ingredients of the future, constitute an important alternative to the need to promote a change towards a fairer and more equitable food system, due to the great impact on the planet that the consumption of protein of animal origin generates.
By 2050, the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed more than 10 billion people around the planet. In this context, a plant-based diet will be decisive, which is why Unilever has been focusing its strategy on plant-based food for some time, with new brands based on plant-based protein such as The Vegetarian Butcher, recently launched in Spain for the channel. restoration.
Image: Algenuity
What is 'chlorella vulgaris'?
Chlorella vulgaris is a green, edible algae widely recognized by experts around the world as a huge source of plant protein and fiber. This seaweed, with a very low environmental footprint, has a number of additional beneficial nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Despite being consumed around the world for many years, its green color and bitter taste due to its high chlorophyll content have constituted a barrier to its inclusion in conventional diets.

Chlorella vulgaris is a green microalgae mainly used as a dietary supplement or protein-rich food additive (Source: Wikipedia)
However, Algenuity has developed an innovative technology to overcome these limitations, which significantly reduces the chlorophyll content of this microalgae while retaining all its natural nutrients. This important innovation constitutes enormous potential in the inclusion of chlorella vulgaris in the field of food and beverages, as it provides the opportunity to develop new sustainable protein foods that meet the high demand of consumers for nutritious and good-tasting foods .
"Microalgae are an alternative to conventional protein with a lot of potential still unexplored," says Xavier Mon, vice president of Foods & Refreshment at Unilever Spain. Undoubtedly, they will play a very important role in relation to the new food models increasingly oriented towards the consumption of products of plant origin; we really want to work closely with Algenuity to make microalgae-based foods common in our diet. "
For his part, Andrew Spicer, CEO of Algenuity, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Unilever to provide new sustainable, natural, non-GMO, protein-rich, neutral-flavored plant-based ingredients for food. In addition, they are also suitable for vegans and, therefore, very attractive for today's consumer, who is increasingly looking for plant-based foods with additional functional benefits ”.



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