Widespread application of algae requires better legislation

9 November 2021
Afbeelding: logo_multi-str3am_1

ForFarmers is one of the partners in the MULTI-STR3AM algae project, which aims to realise a broad application of protein-rich microalgae. This project has several different workstreams or research processes. The processes within which we look at whether we can ‘feed’ DML products to algae are the most appealing to us. And how we can feed the various products which remain after biorefining the algae biomass to livestock. But there’s also a very important, more administrative workstream which we provide input for, as “it must be allowed to be fed in accordance with legislation”, according to nutritionist Lara olde Bolhaar.

A way through the legislative forest

MULTI-STR3AM has therefore now published a technical report in which all relevant EU legislation for the application of microalgae has been collected. The report helps microalgae producers and end users to navigate through the legislative forest in relation to food, animal feed and domestic and personal care products.

The report should speed up the process

However, MULTI-STR3AM emphasises that better - in other words, clear and unambiguous - legislation is necessary in order to turn the broad application of microalgae into a success. This includes the standardisation of technical standards, terminology, sampling methods, etc. This is being worked on at EU level, but MULTI-STR3AM hopes to be able to accelerate the process with this report.

Why is standardisation so important?

Standardisation improves the supply chain reliability. It makes quality and safety measurable and comparable, giving industry and consumers more confidence in these products. Only then will the application of microalgae be able to take off and allow the European algae industry to grow to a commercially interesting and viable size.

Our expert explains

Lara olde Bolhaar
Lara olde Bolhaar

Lara olde Bolhaar, who is closely involved with various algae research projects within her role as nutritionist at ForFarmers’ NIC, explains why standardisation is so important: “Certain parts of the algae are very interesting for the animal feed industry, as a result of their high protein content. However, we need to be sure that we can safely feed these products to animals. This is why they need to be GMP+*) approved and reliable. Standardisation is therefore very relevant. And if we really want to become less dependent on imported protein sources, such as soy flour, then a sufficient quantity of the products must be made available. We haven’t quite reached this stage yet. That’s why it’s good and logical that MULTI-STR3AM is devoting a great deal of energy to accelerating this process. This is of vital importance if we want to introduce sustainable innovation to the market.”

*) GMP+ stands for Good Manufacturing Practice, or rather an effective way of producing. The GMP standard provides an A to Z account of how a product is composed and produced. The Plus indicates that the HACCP standard has also been included in the GMP standard.