Get Ready for the Algae Revolution in the Kitchen

(DGIwire) – Algae are easy to grow and packed with protein, reports Fast Company—attributes that could fuel what the magazine calls an “algae revolution” in people’s diets. Algae is already used into baking mixes, cookies, milk, nondairy creamers, vegan eggs, salad dressing, ice cream, smoothies and protein powders, to name a few products. Why is this tiny plant finally gaining traction?

“Big names in the food and beverage industry are coming to understand that algae can be successfully incorporated into a wide variety of foods and drinks,” says Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of ZIVO Bioscience, a biotech/agtech R&D company engaged in the commercialization of nutritional and medicinal products derived from proprietary algal strains. “Creating algae-based products for shoppers involves certain challenges but these are being systematically overcome and contributing to what may turn out to be a booming industry.”

According to industry trackers cited by Fast Company, a massive shift is taking place in the marketplace to plant-based nutrition. In 2017, plant-based foods outpaced the growth of the whole food and beverage industry over the previous year by 3.5 percent. Algae have a terrific nutritional profile, delivering an impressive amount of vitamin A, vitamin B-12, B complex, iron and other essential trace minerals. When processed into oil, algae are a great source of omega-3.

ZIVO’s algal strain can be spray-dried, belt-dried, drum-dried or freeze-dried depending on a product’s formulation requirement, ranging from a fine powder for better mixing properties to a flaked form that looks and blends like pesto, parsley flakes or dried seaweed. Once approved for use, the algal biomass can be grown by contracted cultivators and shipped to licensed drying facilities. From there, it would be shipped to formulators, for use as a protein-enhancing food ingredient, a dietary supplement or a vegan beverage ingredient.

An algae culture can be produced—and its nutritive components can be extracted— for use in foods and beverages that support human health. Studies have suggested there are substantial benefits from incorporating algae-based products into dietary supplements, foods and beverages. For example, ZIVO’s proprietary algal culture extracts have shown in preclinical research to be beneficial in supporting a healthy cholesterol balance and immune response, along with other studies to assess additional benefits.

In addition to a digestible protein, ZIVO’s algal strain may also offer a very significant fiber component, as well as natural, bioavailable vitamins A and C, non-starch polysaccharides and other micronutrients.

“I believe the algae revolution is coming—with all that these microorganisms have to offer to food and beverage manufacturers as well to discerning customers, it is something to watch out for in the next few years,” Dahl adds.