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Global Algae Proteins Industry

Global Algae Proteins Industry

  • September 2020
  • 510 pages
  • ID: 5899002
  • Format: PDF
  • Global Industry Analysts


Table of Contents


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We launched an impact survey to update this project with timely insights during 2020. Update frequency will depend upon evolving market conditions and executive opinions. Our participants are executives driving strategy, marketing, sales and product management at competitive companies worldwide. All updates during the rest of the year are complimentary to clients!

Algae are More Sustainable than Plant & Animal Protein Sources. Market to Reach $1.2Billion

The global market for Algae Proteins is projected to reach US$1.2 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 6.6% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. As population continues to grow & availability of arable land declines, demand for alternative protein sources is poised to witness robust growth. Algae as a source of protein are environmentally sustainable as compared to crop & animal based sources. Algae can grow on any surface, irrespective of the fertility or type of soil. In addition, algae grow rapidly compared to other plants and also provide higher quantities of biomass for equivalent land use. Soy, presently one of the largest sources of plant protein, occupies a large portion of land for cultivation. Algae can be grown in a fraction of the land extent and provide more protein content. In addition, the waste by products after protein extraction can be used for aqua feed as well as a biomass for energy production. Moreover, algae production does not require huge inputs of fertilizers, which avoids multiple harmful effects of fertilizer usage thus ensuring sustainability. However, for algae proteins to emerge as a mainstream and robust market, systemic changes are required in terms of supply chains, consumer acceptance, costs, and demonstration of safety and finally consumer acceptance. Algae proteins such as spirulina and chlorella offer the highest amount of protein, and are increasingly being used by food manufacturers and processors to enhance the protein content in food. For instance spirulina consists of nearly double the amount of protein percentage compared to soy in terms of dry weight. A higher turnover than plants or animals means algae grows fast and can be harvested on a daily basis.

Seaweed and microalgae are emerging as popular algae based sources for protein. Alternative proteins are expected to benefit from increasing popularity of protein bars and snacks among health-conscious individuals. The increasing shift away from beef towards beans is driving manufacturers to offer algal protein-based options at affordable price points. Algal proteins are known for their numerous health benefits over their animal-based counterparts. Based on its disease-fighting properties due to the presence of phytonutrients and fiber, spirulina is enjoying mainstream presence as functional food ingredient and natural food colorant. The popularity of plant-based proteins is encouraging manufacturers to exploit phytoplankton and chlorella as key strains. On the flip side, plant proteins often lack specific essential amino acids needed for growth of the body. In addition, researchers are yet to fully understand bioavailability and digestibility of algal proteins. These factors point towards the need for more scientific evidence for demonstrating quality of products based on algal proteins.

Algae have been conventionally consumed as vegetable and used in industrial applications in the Eastern and Western worlds, respectively. However, research has demonstrated that microalgae are loaded with proteins along with micronutrients like calcium, vitamins, polyphenols, iodine and carotenoids. Like various protein-rich vegetables such as soy beans, certain phyllum of algae such as red seaweeds contain high-quality proteins. These micronutrients are driving several players to consider microalgae for applications within the food industry. In addition, animal feed applications consume 30% of global algal production. A number of countries have approved specific algae as chicken feed, and don’t require new approval or testing for feed applications. Researchers have also proposed effective and scalable approaches along with extraction methods related to functional proteins found in green alga Tetraselmis suecica. Biologically, algae are primarily segregated into seaweed and microalgae. While the former are complex multi-cellular organisms harboring in marine environments and salt water, microalgae represent single-celled, very small organisms capable of growing in diverse environmental conditions like alkalinity, pH, sunlight, competing ions and fertilizers. Various companies harvest seaweeds from the sea and import to other countries, especially France and Japan. While some of these products are used in food supplements or consumed directly, others are being investigated for use as feed additives, mainly in fish diets. In addition to conventional protein extraction methods such as enzymatic hydrolysis, physical processes & chemical extraction, novel technologies like ultrasound-assisted extraction, pulsed electric field & microwave-assisted extraction are growing in popularity.

Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
  • Allmicroalgae
    Natural Products SA
  • Corbion NV
  • Cyanotech Corporation
  • Earth Rise Nutritionals, LLC
  • Energybits, Inc.
  • FEBICO (Far East Bio-Tec Co., Ltd.)
  • Heliae Development LLC
  • Nutress BV
  • Nutrex Hawaii
  • Plant Head
  • Rainbow Light
  • Roquette Klotze GmbH & Co. KG
  • Spira Inc.
  • TerraVia Holdings, Inc.

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