Process development for the establishment of a modular
production facility for algae-based foods.

The ‘innovation room NewFoodSystems’ is the initiator of our latest innovative algae project. Elea is contributing to the project as a leading provider of PEF technology, utilizing its expertise in microalgae treatment.

Title image: © NewFoodSystems/ Janosch Gruschczyk

Microalgae present versatile opportunities in the bioeconomy, offering potential applications in various products such as baked goods and meat alternatives.

The widespread use of algae-based food ingredients in the German food industry is currently limited by the restricted availability of high-quality raw materials. The ‘ALGAE-MODULE 4.0’ project is dedicated to researching the development of prototype modular production units designed for continuous production of algal biomass directly within the industrial setting of food manufacturing.

The project focuses on two exemplary processes: the production of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis and the unconventional microalgae Chlorella zofingiensis. This enables the delivery and utilization of biomass with defined properties directly on-site for local value chains.

The processing of microalgae and the extraction of various product fractions such as proteins, natural antioxidants, or pigments are achieved through the utilization of innovative technologies such as pulsed electric fields and novel solvents. Adjustable spectral light sources enable the adjustment of biomass composition.

Process-integrated and online-capable analysis methods, such as near-infrared spectroscopy, optical detection of cell density, real-time contamination detection, coupled with a digital quality management system, allow for real-time monitoring of both the bioprocess and biomass quality.