Industry experts agree that microalgae may become one of the most used raw materials in the future. The future of sustainable food is tied to algae.
Advantages of algae.
They grow 10 times faster than land plants and it takes less than a tenth of the land to produce an equivalent amount of biomass.
They grow on non-productive and non-arable land, so they do not compete with other land crops. Since they do not require fresh water for their cultivation, they can be fertilized more efficiently than terrestrial crops. The intensive use of water, the waste of fertilizers and the water pollution associated with modern agriculture are avoided. Higher quality and more nutritious food can be produced in a smaller area.
Uses of algae.
They can be an environmentally and economically sustainable source of biofuels. A valuable source of carbon-neutral fuels, aquafeeds, and protein-rich food products for human consumption.
Even at the University of Cambridge they are developing bio-photovoltaic panels based on algae to generate electricity.
Seaweed has nutritional, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties, but they are not yet being developed commercially. Almost all you can find are food supplements.
At the LUMA Foundation, they use algae as a raw material for printing objects on 3D printers.
In Indonesia, they have developed a biodegradable and edible seaweed-based wrap, a sustainable alternative to plastic.
Algae are the most efficient group of organisms on Earth, converting CO2, sunlight and water into highly nutritious food for all living animals for more than 3.5 billion years.
There are currently many companies and research centers looking for commercially viable ways to produce biofuels using microalgae. In some research, while the fuel is being produced, the waste can be used as a highly nutritious supplement in fish feed such as salmon or white shrimp, and in animal feed for chickens and pigs.
It is estimated that on a global scale, current demand for liquid fuel could be met by growing algae in an area a little less than three times the size of Texas. At the same time, it could produce 10 times the amount of protein that is produced with soybeans worldwide.
We have between 10 and 20 years left to tackle our global problems related to climate change, and algae can be a great ally in this fight.
According to a 2018 report by ReportLinker on the global algae market, it predicts that the market for algae-based products will be about $4 billion in 2018 and will grow to reach $5.2 billion in 2023. The report also notes that during this same time period, from 2018 to 2023, it is projected that the protein from algae and the segment of nutritional and dietary supplements will have the highest growth rate. According to the report, the demand for algae-based foods and beverages is growing. Ice cream makers are beginning to add seaweed to their products to increase the nutritional value of the product.
In the next few years we will find algae in many of our everyday products, making it a multibillion dollar industry.
Its cultivation on a large scale is being experimented and it is possible: