Project start – January 2023
New protein sources, considered environmentally friendly, are seen as important substitutes for soybean or fish meal. Single-cell proteins (SCPs) from microalgae are suitable for human consumption because they contain all the essential amino acids, require less water and land to grow, and are free of herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones. The obstacle in the production of microalgae proteins for plant-based cheese is the green pigment chlorophyll, which affects the final product.
The aim of the project is to screen and identify microalgae strains with high protein content for the production of proteins for plant-based cheeses and flavor enhancers. All work from screening to cultivation will be carried out with microalgae species approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The green pigment chlorophyll can affect the quality of the product in terms of color and taste. To reduce the chlorophyll content, we will further manipulate the cultivation conditions of the protein-rich strains without affecting the microalgae growth and protein production. The biomass will be processed using our proprietary methods of fractionation, extraction, and separation before drying to improve shelf life. The products (food ingredients) will be tested in new vegan foods such as cheese.
The project has been granted by Food and Bio Cluster Denmark.