European Commission joins ranks of algae supporters

A growing receptivity, a flagrant interest and a better understanding emerge from the exchanges between the actors of the world of algae and our institutions. The latest proof is a 24-page document dated May 17, 2021, which specifies the future role of algae, among others:

"Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, on a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU, transforming the EU's Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future." 

Written by Jean-Paul Cadoret, Chief Scientific Officer at Algama.  

At origin are algae
Algae are the origin of all terrestrial plants. By colonizing the land a few hundred million years ago, green microalgae gave rise to all known land flora. In the sea, multiple families of barely known algae (red, brown, golden...) continue to evolve. Their number alone gives an idea of the magnitude of the potential. Indeed, to date, it is believed that there are several million species of algae, while it is estimated that there are about 400,000 species of plants.

Among all these algae families, 70,000 have been identified, and a little less than 100 are used. In terms of exploitation for human consumption, only about thirty algae types are authorized by European regulations, including only 5 microalgae species. But the European actors, whether academic or private, grouped within the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) are working to validate an additional thirty species. 

The vast biotechnological potential of algae
The exploitable biological potential of algae lies largely in their originality: they have high protein contents or unknown and atypical enzymatic processes. Their various biology and biodiversity allow them to evolve in extreme habitats and environments (very high or very low temperatures or pH). This potential, revealed today after decades of research, offers an immense field of possibilities for biotechnological applications.

Read the complete article here

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