Stand-by for the Mochi sensation along with sports protein bars and beverages!
Source: Dreamtimes - Macha powder can be infused with micro algae creating high protein Japanese Mochi. RECIPE
Nelson, New Zealand based, Cawthron Institute, in collaboration with biotechnology nutrition start-up NewFish and marine engineering firm Kernohan Engineering, is embarking on an exciting journey exploring the nutritional attributes and applications of micro algae.
This groundbreaking partnership aims to unlock the potential of micro algae by investigating around 100 strains from Cawthron's Culture Collection for their nutritional properties and feasibility of large-scale production. The ultimate goal is to pave the way for new sustainable protein industries in New Zealand using commercial size liquid bio-reactors.
Source: Dreamtimes - Micro Algae bioreactors used to grow a variety of algae strains
Dr. Johan Svenson, Science Impact Manager at Cawthron, emphasises the importance of identifying the most promising microalgae strains and scaling up their production. Exceptionally performing strains can then be harnessed creating
alternative proteins and functional food ingredients.
'We have a treasure trove of over 600 micro algae species (sample left) in our Culture Collection at Cawthron Institute, representing a vast untapped opportunity', says Dr Svenson.
Toby Lane, CEO of NewFish, highlighted the nutritional potency of certain micro algae as a rich and complete source of protein, vitamins and minerals for consumers. Recognising the immense potential of micro algae as a core source of human nutrition, Lane revealed NewFish plans to showcase the deliciousness of micro algae through a range of applications. They will start with innovative bars and beverages targeting the active and sports nutrition markets.
One of the remarkable advantages of micro algae is their ability to be cultivated using minimal resources compared to traditional food sources. Moreover, they can be grown in controlled bioreactors, eliminating the need for natural or arable farmland. Kernohan Engineering's expertise plays a crucial role in developing production systems enabling flexible and sustainable production of green protein.
The New Zealand Government has shown its commitment to this innovative project by investing $750,000 through the Ministry for Primary Industries' Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures), with additional contributions from NewFish and Kernohan.
NZ Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Rachel Brooking, (shown right with members of the Cawthron, New Fish and Kernohan team) made the funding announcement at Cawthron's Algal Centre, underlining the Government's support for exploring the potential of micro algae as a new and exciting food industry in New Zealand.
With projections indicating a significant increase in global food demand by 2050, Minister Brooking emphasised the exciting prospect of developing micro algae as a low-carbon, sustainable protein source cultivated in bioreactors on land. She also highlighted the additional benefit of micro algae's carbon-capturing ability, aligning with efforts to combat climate change and meet emissions-reduction commitments.
The future holds great promise for micro algae as a versatile and sustainable source of protein, paving the way for innovative food products like micro algae-infused matcha mochi to captivate the taste buds of consumers worldwide RECIPE HERE
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