Algae powder — the next big protein?
With the world’s population set to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, US biotech company ZIVO Bioscience is counting on its optimised, proprietary strain of algae to meet the growing need for protein, without damaging the environment.
Containing a blend of protein, micronutrients and non-starch polysaccharides, ZIVO thinks its algae could be the next big thing in food applications, competing with whey in the protein shake aisle. The non-GMO algae contains 45% pure protein by weight and can be mixed as a dry powder with other ingredients or excipients to create a finished product.
“Algae captures the sun’s energy more efficiently than corn, soy or rice and turns it into high-quality, sustainably grown protein,” says Andrew A Dahl, president and CEO, ZIVO Bioscience. “Just as importantly, it uses only 10% of the fossil fuel and 10% of the water used to grow corn or soybean.
“My company is focused on proprietary and patented products developed from the algae biomass itself — natural extracts and purified, natural bioactive compounds that can be used as ingredients in food, supplements and potentially medicinal applications in the future,” said Dahl.
Dahl says the nutritional profile of the ZIVO algae matches that of many traditional foods. 100 g of dried algal biomass yields 43 g of high-quality protein and 24 g of dietary fibre, with more vitamin A than 85 g of beef liver and more vitamin C than a medium orange.
The algae can be naturally grown for large-scale commercial use, and the resulting powder is almost odourless and tasteless.
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