Innovative Algae Processing for Nutraceuticals in Food and Feed
Algae have a number of properties which enable food and feed production concepts considerably more sustainable than the existing value chains. These include high biomass productivity and the use of combustion gas as CO2 source to generate a wide range of valuable ingredients. These ingredients could be valued as health foods, nutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals, or other renewable inputs for the food industry, including as feed for livestock and aqua-culture.
The main focus of iAlgaePro is the development of innovative algae processing tools throughout the whole value chain. The implementation in this transnational project consortium is based on an interconnection between different innovative technologies like „mesh ultra thin layer” (MUTL) photobiorector technology, membrane-based harvesting techniques, Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Technology, new separation and gentle extraction technologies.
ILU. e.V. was able to successfully establish the cultivation of Scenedesmus and Spirulina within the MUTL-System. Growth of algae was characterized over time and optimized. Especially in the case of Scenedesmus, the prototype MUTL showed a superior productivity in relation to classical tubular systems. The comparison of the different harvesting and separation technologies showed a strong decrease of energy consumption for the novel “centrifugal brush technology” which results in significant energy savings. Additionally, sets of experiments were conducted that evaluated the effect of Pulsed Electric Field Technology on the biomass composition of growing algae. For the first time complex alterations in the algal physiology were described after PEF exposure. A significant effect was for example an increase in the antioxidant capacity of the algal biomass. Additionally, effects on techno-functional properties of different products derived from incorporation of algal biomass have been investigated. A life cycle assessment was evaluated together with DIL to proof sustainability of algal-based food products.
2014 - 2017
Funding through BMWi via AiF/FEI
Cornet AiF 129 EBG
Dr. Michael Sandmann
German Institute of Food Technologies e. V., Quakenbruck/Germany
VITO NV Vlaamse Instelling voor technologisch Onderzoek, Mol/Belgium
FISCH Flanders Innovation Hub for sustainable Chemistry, Brussels/Belgium
BB Boerenbond Projecten vzw, Leuven/Belgium