DEVELOPMENT OF DRINKS AND/OR GELS CONTAINING MICROALGAE AND MICROALGAE EXTRACTS: A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO SUGARY SOFT DRINKS AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
GASTROALGAE is a research project that uses a co-design approach with the consumer to design and develop drinks and/or gels based on microalgae and its extracts, with a direct impact on how microalgae are produced for human consumption.
The main goal of the project is to provide information on the expectations and needs of potential consumers of these new products, as well as to develop knowledge related to the production of microalgae intended for human consumption, using the development of new drinks/gels as the guiding thread of the research. Furthermore, knowledge about consumer reactions to new ingredients will be generated, allowing us to transform our food system and adapt it to a more sustainable and healthy future.
During its development, new technologies developed to cultivate microalgae biomass will be used, seeking to optimize production based on what is demanded by consumers of the final product, and thus trying to connect the producer with the final consumer. The involvement of the different links in the production chain will facilitate the transmission of knowledge between both poles, encouraging citizen participation in innovation and science processes, as well as favoring the producer’s understanding of consumer demands and concerns.
The consortium comprises a Technological Center of the Basque Science and Technology Network, BCC Innovation, and two SMEs: one of them focused on the production of microalgae biomass (Spirulina, Chlorella, Haematococcus), ALGALOOP; and the other in the commercialization of microalgae extracts and foods based on the microalgae biomass, CIANOALGAE.
The project is supported by the “Aid for Research, Development, and Innovation in the Agricultural, Forestry, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Product Sectors” program of the Basque Government’s Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Policy.