Making tiny algae a large-scale commodity
“Fresh produce from the sea can help us make the food system more sustainable.” This is the philosophy behind Algreen. The company supports microalgae suppliers in all the technological aspects of their business development. Algreen has joined Foodvalley to share ideas and meet new partners.
“We have known about Foodvalley since 2016 and have heard positive things from other entrepreneurs,” says Stefano Canziani, founder and CEO of Algreen. “And, like them, we are committed to accelerating the protein transition.”
As a Foodvalley member, Canziani is eager to share his ideas on microalgae with other partners. This includes companies that are using plant-based proteins, but also providers of natural colorants that are looking for natural, sustainable ingredients. “We want to find out if there is a need for special ingredients and what their expectations are regarding the cost price of such ingredients,” he explains.
The young and ambitious entrepreneur brings to the table a lot of knowledge and expertise on algae processing and products. “We have built up an extensive network of universities and stakeholders, such as the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) and the Italian association for research on algae (AISAM). We can connect members of Foodvalley with them.”
Algreen, founded in 2015, provides its services to microalgae companies all over Europe and throughout the chain: from the supply of high-quality (Spirulina) algae strains and growth media to the up scaling of production facilities and organic certification. “We also design tailor-made downstream processing facilities, for example to extract the valuable blue color (phycocyanin) from Spirulina,” says Canziani.
High nutrient value
The entrepreneur and his team believe microalgae have the potential to become a large-scale commodity, thanks to their high nutrient value, functional properties, and the sustainability and scalability of how they are produced. Spirulina, for example, has sixty percent protein and high levels of fiber. They can also capture more CO2 than plants.