Zeewaars participation in Interreg 2 seas ValGorize programme
Valorisation of algae for a better taste
To maintain current consumption trends, the world must produce 50-70% more food by 2050. Current global algae biomass production is 3M tonnes. In the EU, however, only 0.1 tonne is cultivated with 9% for food, compared to 90% globally. Many EU countries allow wild harvesting of seaweed, an unsustainable practice with low quality yields. Imports of (Asian) algae do not meet EU food safety standards. The key challenge: ‘Controlled sustainable production and processing of high quality, stable, safe algal biomass of known composition with important food features and a good total palatability including: taste, aroma, colour and texture’, in order to facilitate change in favour of food from the lower trophic regions in the ocean food chain and investment in the sector. Food producers need a reliable and predictable supply of high quality biomass and consumers want tasty, safe and high quality products. ValgOrize will close this gap.
The ValGorize programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for 60%.
- Increase innovation within the agro-food and marine technology smart specialisation sectors occurring across the entire value chain. This enhances tech transfer mainly to SMEs.
- Establish an expertise centre/platform that integrates all innovations and improvements (growth, processing, profiling, marketing).
- Increase insight into consumer acceptance of algae products, thus closing the gap between different stakeholders (i.e. food producers and consumers)
- Gain insight into the investment needed to scale up algae production from pre-commercial (TRL7) to commercial (TRL9) scale (via developed investor’s roadmap)