Microalgae are a diverse family with more than 500,000 species of unicellular organisms that grow in an aqueous environment and perform photosynthesis for the creation of biomass and proliferation. Microalgae have evolved on our planet for more than 2 billion years to become extremely efficient and hold a huge potential and promise for our future as they grow exponentially fast, require very little resources and produce high concentrations of active ingredients such as proteins, fatty acids, carotenoids and more.
Microalgae can be used directly as highly nutritious food and animal feed, processed for extraction of important ingredients in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and more and even be refined into biofuels for renewable energy.
One example of microalgae huge potential is shown in the following charts in which potential yields of protein sources are compared as well as the resources required. Microalgae are completely “off the charts” and hold an enormous promise for a sustainable and resource efficient future of food and nutrition security.