Lannilis, France-headquartered Algaia S.A. has completed a €2.2 million investment round to finance expansion. One of it main growth engines is VegAlg, a new range of seaweed-based texturing products designed to contribute shape and structure, and add juiciness to plant-based burgers. Also included is a new range of alginates for processed cheese in cordon bleu.
Over the past three years some €7 million has been invested in the Algaia manufacturing facility in Britany, with another €1 million at its R&D facility in Saint-Lô, Normandy. An industrial pilot production line was inaugurated at the Saint-Lô site in 2019.
“In 2019, Algaia recorded a 17% sales growth, plus an additional 25% sales growth over the first four months of 2020,” said Frederic Faure, the company’s business development director. “We grew at a double-digit rate in nutrition and cosmetic business activity, and experienced triple-digit growth in active ingredients used in plant care. Sales grew dramatically across a range of segments, and we recorded even higher demand in vegan applications where a series of new seaweed-based products, developed under the VegAlg umbrella, was recently launched. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic is creating a paradigm shift toward even more traceable, secured food solutions that are in line with our new seaweed portfolio and long-term sustainability strategy.”
New Line for Plant-based Faux Meat Applications
Creating plant-based faux meat products is highly challenging since it is hard to mimic the taste, structure, and texture of real meat. The new Algogel MVA series is specifically designed for meat analogues. It can replace cellulosic products traditionally used for structure in vegetable protein products. Alginates improves the interaction between the protein, lipid, and water components of the food system. It works by naturally helping these components form a stable structure, which leads to enhanced texture and flavor resulting in a juicy veggie burger that consumers crave.
Reinventing Cordon Bleu
Another new line from Algaia is its alginate-based Satialgine DVA series, often used in combination with carrageenans extracted from fresh Chilean seaweed. Launched at the Food Ingredients (Fi) Europe 2019 show, it was designed to improve the functionality of cheese in cordon bleu dishes of meat rolled around cheese filling, then breaded and fried.
“A prepared meal like cordon bleu has been particularly popular during the Covid-19 crisis, as more people are cooking at home. Cordon bleu is a very convenient dish, highly appreciated by both adults and kids,” said Fabien Canivet, Algaia’s application manager. “Our new portfolio increases the cheese shelf life, adds enhanced meltability and resistance to separation during the cooking phase, allowing for a uniform look and feel. It also reduces the tendency for tiny fat globules in the cheese to coalesce and pool on the surface. The structural functionality improves sliceability as well as thermostability. Satialgine can be applied to other dairy applications as well.”
To ensure a constant and renewable supply of seaweed biomass, Algaia works with local fishermen to harvest brown algae just a few kilometers from its plant in Brittany. The Maabarot Group biomarine company is committed to full control over its supply and ensuring that customers receive sustainable, high-quality, plant-based products.