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Brevel opens new microalgae protein facility
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

4 June 2024

Brevel opens new microalgae protein facility

Alternative protein company Brevel has opened its first commercial plant dedicated to the production of microalgae protein powder. The new site spans 27,000-square-feet and has the capacity to produce hundreds of tons of clean label, non-GMO microalgae protein. Located in the desert periphery of Israel, the plant aims to facilitate the introduction of Brevel’s new plant protein to the commercial food market by scaling production to industrial levels. At the facility, Brevel will provide a fresh source of protein extracted from microalgae belonging to the chlorella family. According to the firm, its resulting ingredient is cost effective and highly nutritious, possessing the full amino acid profile, while leaving a ‘negligible’ environmental footprint. It offers a neutral flavour and colour for versatile formulation possibilities. Brevel cultivates its microalgae via the fermentation of sugars in its indoor bioreactors. Its unique process, which applies light and fermentation simultaneously, enables the abundant generation of nutrient-rich microalgae proteins without any form of gene modification. The process results in a steady supply of a white powdered 60-70% microalgae protein concentrate, suitable for a range of meat and dairy alternative applications. The company will initially focus on boosting protein content in alt-dairy. Yonatan Golan, Brevel’s co-founder and CTO, commented: “Combining light and fermentation to produce microalgae is like putting an electric motor into a Tesla car. It may sound like a very simple, straightforward task to achieve, but is actually extremely complex. This was the challenge we managed to crack and lies at the core of our technology.” Golan added: “Until now, fermentation has been confined to dark environments and is instrumental in producing extremely high yields. However, microalgae’s natural make-up of nutrients – including protein, lipids, fibre and pigments – depend on photosynthesis for their development and growth.” In a waste-free manufacturing process, Brevel makes the oil and fibre byproducts available as clean label emulsifiers and a source of food enrichment for functional foods and supplements. The company will supply its protein to plant-based manufacturers worldwide, some of whom are investors and strategic partners. It hopes to provide a solution to developers who seek more neutral-tasting alternatives to commonly used pea and soy proteins, which often pose flavour and texture challenges, at the same price point. During an inauguration event at the new site, visitors – including investors, food-tech start-ups, manufacturers and government representatives – were offered tastings of high-protein plant-based cheese analogues containing Brevel’s ingredient. “This new facility is just the beginning for Brevel,” Golan said. “We have strategised several joint-venture partnerships in the US, Europe and Asia. The result will be construction of larger facilities to fulfill growing demands for our sustainable protein in multiple applications.”

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