Food and High Value Products from Microalgae: Market Opportunities and Challenges

Rahman, K.M. (2020) Food and High Value Products from Microalgae: Market Opportunities and Challenges. In: Microalgae Biotechnology for Food, Health and High Value Products. Springer, Singapore, pp. 3-27. ISBN 9789811501685

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Microalgae are a potential source of molecules for a wide range of food and novel high-value products and have good market opportunities. They can be used in biofuels, health complements, feed, medicine and cosmetics. The development of innovative and sustainable technologies with minimum energy inputs is required for large-scale cultivation and downstream processing of lipids and hydrocarbons in order for the production to be economically viable. In addition, the viability of bioenergy production from microalgae biomass is contingent on the net energy gain of the overall process, with exhaustive utilization of algal biomass for biofuel and other co-products for feed, food, and chemicals. The energy output from the biomass as fuel has to be greater than the energy required to produce and process the algae. Microalgae produce a comprehensive variety of bioproducts such as enzymes, pigments, lipids, sugars, vitamins and sterols. Moreover, its capability to alter atmospheric CO2 into beneficial products such as lipids, carbohydrates, metabolites and proteins cannot be overstated. The key challenges appear to be high cost of operation, infrastructure and maintenance, selection of algal strains with high protein contents, dewatering and commercial scale harvesting. Optimizing the manufacture and commercialization of microalgae value products depend also on numerous factors (such as market and financial affairs). There is limitation of authentic and reliable data and statistics of microalgae market opportunities which make it difficult to assess their actual potential. Long-term research is needed to develop systems for the production of sustainable algal-based products, as sustainability is a key concern especially for food, feed and fuel.

Item Type: Book Section
Identification Number:
23 January 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microalgae; High value product; Market challenges; Opportunities
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-10 - others in biosciences
CAH06 - agriculture, food and related studies > CAH06-01 - agriculture, food and related studies > CAH06-01-02 - agricultural sciences
CAH26 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01-02 - physical geographical sciences
CAH10 - engineering and technology > CAH10-01 - engineering > CAH10-01-09 - chemical, process and energy engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 16:57
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 13:10

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