Nestlé to develop plant-based products from microalgae

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

Spirulina is a leading source of microalgae for food-based products
Spirulina is a leading source of microalgae for food-based products

Related tags: Ingredients & nutrition, Vegan

Global food giant Nestlé is partnering with ingredients firm Corbion to explore the use of microalgae in plant-based products.

Both companies said they were looking to develop the next generation platform of algae-based ingredients, with the goal of creating, “great-tasting, highly nutritious”​ products.

By combining Corbion’s microalgae and fermentation capabilities with Nestlé’s plant-based NPD knowledge, the two companies aim to produce and commercialise microalgae-based ingredients rich in protein and micronutrients.

They will collaborate to improve the functionality, taste and nutritional profile for use in different types of products, the companies added.

Microalgae ingredients are recognised as a vegan source of protein, healthy lipids and micronutrients.

The production of microalgae is also acknowledged to have a low carbon, land and water footprint.

Main microalgae sources

The main sources of microalgae for food-based products globally are spirulina and chlorella.

According to Credence Research, the algae products market is expected to reach $44.6bn by 2023, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 5.2% from 2016 to 2023. The global spirulina market is expected to register a CAGR of 10% during the forecast period.

Nestlé’s plant-based portfolio includes almond-, coconut- and oat-based creamers and coffee mixes, non-dairy ice cream, and a range of pea and soy-based meat alternatives and prepared dishes.

Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Palzer said: “We are actively exploring the use of microalgae as an alternative protein and micronutrient source for exciting plant-based products.

“Through the partnership with Corbion, we will be able to use great-tasting, nutritious microalgae-based ingredients to innovate across our different product categories.”

Lactic acid specialist

Netherlands-based Corbion specialises in lactic acid and lactic acid derivatives. It also produces emulsifiers, functional enzyme blends, minerals, vitamins and algae ingredients.

“We are excited to partner with Nestlé to develop the next generation of algae-based ingredients,” ​said Marc den Hartog, executive vice president of innovation platforms at Corbion.

“Corbion has already demonstrated the value of algae in several high-value food and feed applications. This new protein partnership with Nestlé has the potential to open important avenues for algae-based products into large global markets.”

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