Algavalor WP2 recap

Algavalor Work Package 2 focuses on the study of new foods for the animal sector, through the valorization of microalgae biomass. For this purpose, pig farming was used as a case study.

Several microalgae species were studied, with different levels of inclusion in the diet, and at different steps, namely: in the post-weaning phase, in the growth phase, and in the fattening phase. In the end, the meat obtained from animals fed with microalgae was tested by sensory and quality analyses.

#Microalgae #Feed #PigFarming

Food enriched with Microalgae

During Algavalor, soups enriched with microalgae were developed. Did you know that microalgae are the primary producers of omega-3 fatty acids (sought after in fish)? Microalgae are also rich in protein, providing all the essential amino acids.

Their inclusion in tofu or rice ready-made meals could greatly enrich them. And that’s exactly what #ErnestoMorgado demonstrated. In addition, #IPLeiria developed pastry and bakery solutions, from eggless brioche to protein-rich bread with less saturated fat. They even made macarons with sugar paste colored by microalgae extracts.

#ErnestoMorgado used biomass from bio Chlorella vulgaris, White Chlorella vulgaris, smooth Chlorella vulgaris and Tetraselmis chui to develop textured protein prototypes.

#Tofu #Algae #Food #Nutricion

*image: Tofu with microalgae, developed by Ernesto Morgado

Health Benefits of Microalgae extracts

This month we are focused on Algavalor SP1. Did you know that Chlorella vulgaris (smooth) and Chlorococcum amblystomatis extracts have anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity and anti-diabetes activities? The lipidome of various species was also evaluated and new bioactive metabolites were identified.

How was this done? The biomass produced by #Allmicroalgae was sent to the partners at #UAveiro and #UMinho for extraction via #HPP, #PEF or ohmic heating. After being characterized the extracts were sent to #CIIMAR and #FCUP where their bioactivity was studied in cell models and #zebrafish. #UCP evaluated the microbiological safety of the extracts that were then used by #IPLeiria and #ErnestoMorgado as food ingredients.

#microalgae #anti-inflamatory #anti-obesity #anti-diabetes #extract

*Image: assay of anti-diabetes activity in zebrafish, developed by CIIMAR


What is WP1 all about?

Algavalor Work Package 1 aims to develop microalgae food ingredients, either by including whole biomass or through the use of microalgae extracts.

Microalgae have a balanced nutritional profile, very appealing to those seeking for a healthy diet and life-style. But let’s face it: we’re not familiar with these foods and many times we just don’t know how to eat microalgae! So why should we pay attention, what’s in it for us as consumers? There’s a long way to go to spread awareness about the benefits these organisms bring to our general health. Plus there is a need to develop appealing products, and overcome algae’s typical marine odor and taste.

Through Algavalor it was possible to select some of the most promising species, to optimize cultivation and compound extraction techniques, to evaluate safety and shelf-life of these extracts, to verify bioactivities and finally, to develop food prototypes enriched with whole biomass and with microalgae extracts. We tasted them and (also based on a panel of independent test-subjects) we approved!

#CIIMAR is the leader of WP1, with participation of  #Allmicroalgae, #UMinho, #UAveiro, #UCP, #FCUP, #ErnestoMorgado, and #IPLeiria.

*WP1 image: Bread developed by IPLeiria, with C. vulgaris.