Natural Products Expo West

Expo West: Microphyt harnesses power of microalgae for fortified food, beverage

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags microalgae RTD protein bar

Through its patented technology that both replicates the delicate microalgae environment and extract its bioactive compounds from biomass, Microphyt is able to produce microalgae at scale in its Montpelier, France facility for a range of food and beverage applications including RTD beverages and protein bars, Vincent Usache, CEO, Microphyt, explained to FoodNavigator-USA during the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. earlier this month.

Microphyt’s proprietary hydro-biomimetic technology uses a two-step flow process which mimics the microalgae’s natural environment while optimizing gas-liquid transfer using its Camargue photo-bioreactors. The process allows for the cultivation of any variety of microalgae, including delicate varieties, that are near impossible to cultivate, according to the company.

The active ingredients are then extracted from the biomass without petrochemical solvents. Because the microalgae are grown in a controlled environment similar to their environment, where temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and additional nutrients are monitored, the resulting ingredients are non-GMO and devoid of pesticides.

From oceans to freshwater sources around the world, microalgae are capable of thriving in diverse environments, which provides Microphyt with a variety of unique bioactives to target specific functions in the human body, Usache said.

“Because they are so rich and packed in essential vitamins, minerals, oils and protein, they are … very useful nutrients that we can use in food matrices or food ingredients,” while offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for food and beverages, he added.

Currently, Microphyt has developed specialty ingredients in nutrition applications using bioactives from microalgae for cognitive health (Brainphyt), cognitive performance (Gamephyt) and weight management (PhaeOptim), which have undergone clinical trials, in addition to other areas including gut health, immunity and joint health that are in progress.

Highlighting the benefits of microalgae on aging and metabolic health trends, Usache explained that the “consumer ultimately wants to find some solutions that are promoting health, promoting [an] active lifestyle in a sustainable manner. There were not many solutions for that … So by delivering these ingredients, making sure that we are producing them sustainably, we can demonstrate the benefits.”


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