Food commodities from microalgae
The prospect of sustainable production of food ingredients from photoautotrophic microalgae was reviewed. Clearly, there is scope for microalgal oils to replace functions of major vegetable oils, and in addition to deliver health benefits to food products. Furthermore, with a limited production surface, a substantial portion of the European Union market could be supplied with edible oils and proteins from microalgae. Yet, before microalgal ingredients can become genuinely sustainable and cost effective alternatives for current food commodities, major breakthroughs in production technology and in biorefinery approaches are required. Moreover, before market introduction, evidence on safety of novel microalgal ingredients, is needed. In general, we conclude that microalgae have a great potential as a sustainable feedstock for food commodities.
Graphical abstract.Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (275 K)Download as PowerPoint slideHighlights► Microalgal oils have clear potential to replace functions of major vegetable oils. ► A limited production surface is required to produce food commodities by microalgae. ► Major breakthroughs are required to enable cost effective production of microalgae. ► Life cycle analysis can provide direction for sustainable production of microalgae. ► Safety of food ingredients from microalgae should be confirmed.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 24, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 169–177