Can chlorella crunch into food? Allma launches microalgae crispy snacks

By Anna Bonar

- Last updated on GMT

Allma: “We expect the first big jump to happen in either Europe or North America."
Allma: “We expect the first big jump to happen in either Europe or North America."

Related tags Algae Dietary supplement Nutrition Snack

Portuguese microalgae supplier Allma has debuted cereal-based chlorella pieces as it drives the ingredient beyond food supplement aisles.

The firm is producing rice cereal and chlorella vulgaris​ blends in multiple sizes and flavours like carrots, rosemary and lemon.

Talking to NutraIngredients, Sofia Mendonça, business development manager at Allma, said: “There is a huge potential for chlorella powder as a food ingredient. Mainly because of its nutritional value but also because of its food technology characteristics. It could for example be used as a natural colourant.”

Matrices proposed by the firm include yoghurts, breakfast cereals, snack bars, soups and salad.

Raising awareness

The company started working on the project a couple of months ago and food manufacturers are beginning to show an interest in it.

“We expect the first big jump to happen in either Europe or North America. Asia is also an interesting market for us as they have a long tradition in terms of microalgae. What we need is an acceptance and investment in chlorella as a food ingredient,​ ” Mendonça added.

Chlorella contains vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, protein and polyphenols but claims are only emerging as regulator-friendly science builds, and so most marketing is based around ‘wellbeing’ messaging.

“Chlorella is widely-recognised among people who are taking dietary supplements as well as those who are looking for natural products. Our biggest challenge is to consolidate the awareness and reach the rest of the consumers globally,”​ Mendonça said.

Algae extraction has boomed in recent years with the likes of Roquette and DSM-Martek in the area, along with smaller players like Aurora Algae in California.

The company will be exhibiting at Health Ingredients Europe (HIE) in Amsterdam between December 2-4.

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