A new wave of superfoods are being cultivated in Adelaide labs in the hope it’ll provide alternative ways to sustainably feed the world’s increasing population.
A team of Flinders University scientists have developed alternative proteins to consume, but instead of meat, food products like caviar, vegan patties, plant-based meats, jelly, jams and spreads have been developed from marine microalgae.
The substance is usually found in the ocean, but scientists at the university have been cultivating it in labs and turning it into consumable forms.
Artist in residence Niki Sperou has helped scientists develop these prototypes in the hope it will be rolled out industrially.
“We’re able to manipulate the raw materials to mimic just about anything that’s out there on the market, we just play with the textures and the flavours and we can find something that is attractive and palatable to most people,” Ms Sperou said.
She said the team had even developed “algae-mite” and although the microalgae product tastes like seaweed in its raw form, new technologies can alter flavours to make it taste like anything.
“People are looking for a different way to eat, something that is sustainable, healthy and ethical, and marine microalgae can fill in the gaps for people seeking primarily a plant-based diet,” she said.
Algae manipulated for different uses
Professor Wei Zhang said microalgae could be manipulated to become protein dominant and nutrient rich, providing health benefits for the consumer.