Macroalgae as Future Food
Macroalgae are an important building block for the marine ecosystem. They counteract the eutrophication of waters and bind CO2. They are a renewable resource that does not require arable land, fresh water or fertiliser. Macroalgae thus offer various advantages and are particularly suitable for use as food. They are rich in dietary fibre and minerals such as iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. They also have a high protein content and many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ingredients.
In food technology, some ingredients of macroalgae, such as carrageenan, alginate or agar-agar, are already used as thickeners and binders. Other health-promoting substances such as fucoidans are used in particular in food supplements.
Macroalgae hold great potential and thus we have made it our task to develop products with the use of macroalgae. The raw material is either used directly or further processed by extraction, for example. In this way, the yield can be optimised or certain components can be isolated.
As part of the Fraunhofer Future Food project, a development centre for food research is being expanded in northern Germany. The focus is on research into marine resources and the resulting innovations along the value chain. The use of macroalgae is important in this context and could be used in some research tasks.
For example, products such as algae ice cream, algae pesto, algae popcorn or vegan bacon have already been developed with the help of an algae extract. We are currently working on the further use of algae extracts in vegan substitute products.