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Human Nutrition

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Functional foods and ingredients with interesting applications in human nutrition

Some microalgae provide products with interesting applications in human nutrition.

These products are marketed worldwide as nutritional supplements, given their high nutritional value, presenting the highest amounts of proteins found in nature, as well as being the origin of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (and other healthy lipids), vitamins, carotenoids, antioxidants and other substances of great interest and benefit to human health. However, under the synonym of phytoplankton, microalgae are already being marketed in more gourmet environments and contexts, serving as a special ingredient to some of the world's most successful chefs, including Spaniards Martín Berasategui or Ángel Leon.

AlgaEnergy collaborates (within R&D projects in which it participates or leads in nutrition) with the food industry’s companies of international reference. Moreover, in the market there are already foods that have microalgae cultivated by AlgaEnergy as a functional ingredient.

Microalgae are also the origin of dyes and other natural extracts. Phycocyanin is a phycobiliprotein of an intense blue colour produced by some microalgae. It is a protein present on the outer surface of the cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane. This can be extracted for use as a natural dye. In fact, it is the only 100% natural blue dye that can be used in the food industry. This dye also has therapeutic, antioxidant, antifungal and antiviral properties, therefore its potential application expands to many industries, including nutrition and cosmetics.

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Do you know that...

… Spirulina microalga was already used as food by the wise Aztec people, who collected it from Lake Texcoco and consumed it in the form of biscuits with a high protein content?