The certification, awarded to the firm’s ALLMA Chlorella vulgaris microalgae product, was according to Allmicroalgae Natural Products’ business development manager Sofia Hoffmann de Mendonça, “another step in our commitment to provide appealing solutions for the most demanding consumers”.
“We’re actively developing application concepts where Chlorella can provide valuable consumer benefits, such as vegan health foods and snack concepts.”
As one of a handful of European manufacturers producing organic certified Chlorella biomass, Allmicroalgae Natural Products join algae suppliers such as Roquette, DSM-Martek, AlgoSource Technologies and Nutress in meeting demand for Chlorella-based food supplements.
In the US, chlorella sells into products like ice cream, tea, savoury spreads and baked goods, where its favourable nutrient profile of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, protein and polyphenols has resonated with consumers.
Organic food and drink on the up
According to Euromonitor International, the European Organic Food & Beverages market is valued at €13.8m in 2017, with a year-on-year increase of 6.6% on 2016.
Plant-based diets are set to gain more traction in Europe, with vegan product claims projected to grow steadily in Denmark (27%), Sweden (19%), France (11%) and Germany (8%) between 2018 – 2021.
Allmicroalgae’s flagship product Allma was launched with a 50 tonne capacity facility in mid-2014 after a period developing production and quality standards and refining algae strains before market launch.
At present the microalgae is cultivated in closed systems at Allmicroalgae’s Algafarm production facility in Leiria, Portugal,
The facility uses either in photobioreactors or fermentation vessels in the production process with regular verification by independent third party laboratories.
“Organic certification gives 3rd party verification, in addition to the currently implemented high quality standards,” said de Mendonça.
“It further validates the quality of this new ALLMA Chlorella version, to show our commitment to premium quality and safety, and adaptability to the market demands.
As well as chlorella vulgaris, the firm also cultivate a number of other microalgae species including Nannochloropsis oceanica, Phaeodactylum sp. and Tetraselmis sp.
Chlorella health claims
Currently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has not attributed any positive health opinion to chlorella but manufacturers are permitted to describe chlorella gummies or chewing gum as 'superfoods' or 'full of essential nutrients’.
Chlorella’s claims to these terms are supported by relatively few clinical studies that demonstrate the benefits on health.
Roquette were behind the scenes of a 2014 study that suggested much potential of chlorella on skin health.
Oral and topical administrations of the two higher doses of chlorella had significant effects on skin inflammation.
The microalgae also had an apparent effect on the healing process and duration of wound healing for both administration routes and particularly at the two highest doses of chlorella.