Biotech company Microphyt plans to construct what it claims will be the world’s first fully-integrated microalgae biorefinery at its headquarters in France.
The facility will enable the production of microalgae-based ingredients for the nutrition, food and beverage, personal care and wellness industries on an industrial scale.
The microalgae biorefinery forms part of the company’s Scale programme – a four-year project that aims to address the increasing demand for safe and effective nutrition and wellness ingredients produced in a natural and highly sustainable way.
During the four years, Microphyt says the production capacity will increase five-fold and will allow for the development and production of more than 15 new ingredients derived from microalgae.
Microphyt received a €15 million grant from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking – a partnership between the European Commission and the Bio-industries Consortium – to support its Scale programme; which brings together 11 international partners including Evolys and Paul Bocuse Institute.
Located in Baillargues, near Montpellier, the biorefinery will utilise the firm’s propriety Camargue technology, which is based on hydro-biomimetic principles, and produces and extracts bioactive compounds.
According to Microphyt, the technology mimics nature’s most efficient growth conditions – taking advantage of the full biological potential of microalgae while ensuring a high level of control.
Construction will begin on the new microalgae biorefinery this year and is expected to create around 100 jobs by 2025.
“Scale is the first flagship biorefinery of its kind, developing a whole new value chain dedicated to aquatic resources. It will help reduce the EU’s heavy reliance on imported natural ingredients while acting as a carbon sink,” said Philippe Mengal, executive director of Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking.
According to Microphyt, its method boasts highly efficient water use, takes in CO2 and does not use GMOs or pesticides. The firm also plans to integrate renewable energy production.
Founded in 2007, Microphyt specialises in the production and marketing of microalgae-based bioactive ingredients. The company raised €28.5 million in June 2019 and commercially launched its first nutritional ingredient BrainPhyt for the prevention of age-related cognitive decline last year in the US.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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