From four species of microalgae, hnutritious foods with healthy properties such as iron, Omega 3 and proteins. With these microalgae flours you can prepare pasta, bakery products, yogurts and meat preparations.
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (Neiker-Tecnalia), was in charge of researching this new superfood and concluded that microalgae contain vegetable protein, in addition to providing essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidant compounds. Its objective was to develop "a food product to respond to the challenge of improving the quality of food as a source of health and quality of life in the aging population."
Microalgae are considered a natural resource with high potential for exploitation in the agri-food sector, where they have growing interest as healthy ingredients, despite the fact that algae still do not reach all consumers.
The cultivation of microalgae represents an important emerging biological resource due to its potential applications in different fields, including food. Microalgae are a new form of agriculture with a high degree of sustainability and that could be a mainstay of food in the not too distant future.
NEIKER-Tecnalia has studied during the project the viability of algae as food ingredients and has verified that the chemical composition of the microalgae is not an intrinsic factor of the species, but can be modified by the environmental conditions used during its cultivation. Thus, the incorporation of microalgae flours as ingredients in these foods makes them "Source of protein", "Source of Omega 3", "Source of copper" or foods with "High Iron content".
Among the different foods developed, the prototypes made with flours rich in Omega 3 are especially interesting due to the current importance of this type of fatty acids for health.
The research has been carried out within the framework of the FICONUT project, a multidisciplinary initiative focused on exploring innovation opportunities around the use of microalgae as food ingredients, funded by ELKARTEK (Basque Government Program to support collaborative research in strategic areas) . Together with NEIKER-Tecnalia, LEARTIKER SCOOP, UPV / EHU-Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy, the TECNALIA Research and Innovation Foundation and the Basque Culinary Center Foundation have participated in the research.
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