NETHERLANDS – Sophie’s Bionutrients, a micro-algae protein pioneer, has teamed up with Danish Technological Institute (DTI) to explore its potential in developing a new sustainable plant-based ice cream out of microalgae.

Made with Sophie’s dairy-free Chlorella Protein Concentrate, the new vegan ice has the potential to provide double the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 and iron than most dairy and plant-based alternatives.

The company’s protein concentrate is derived from a microalgae flour naturally cultivated from Chlorella Vulgaris.

Sophie’s BioNutrients notes that the Chlorella Vulgaris strains it uses are US GRAS and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved as food ingredients.

The microalgae are grown inside bio-reactors and harvested within three days. This process can be precisely controlled to produce protein in a matter of days.

The company says it uses a limited amount of water and local food waste to produce micro-algae protein within metropolitan areas in many parts of the globe.

Producing one ton of Sustainable Urban Protein requires just 0.02 hectares of space and contamination can be controlled easily in the bio-farm by using no herbicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, or hormones.

To create the ice cream, the team at Sophie’s worked with DTI’s technical experts to perform an initial screening of its potential before combining it with functional ingredients that mimicked the ice cream’s natural texture. The finished product can be used to make several popular ice cream flavors.

Sophie’s BioNutrients CEO and co-founder, Eugene Wang, said: “Microalgae is one of the most nutrient-rich and versatile resources on the planet.”

“Today we have shown another facet of the unlimited possibilities this superfood can offer–a dairy- and lactose-free alternative to ice cream that, thanks to microalgae, offers a higher nutrition content than most available dairy-free alternatives. We are incredibly excited about this development in allergen-free foods and the prospect of more inclusive dining.”

Danish Technological Institute director of food technology, Anne Louise Dannesboe Nielsen, commented that microalgae are part of the future.

He added that microalgae are a sustainable ingredient with a lot of potential in multiple food applications and DTI is eager to help grow, understand, and explore its potential.

The innovation comes a few months after the company behind significant breakthroughs such as the world’s first algae-based milk and cheddar cheese, in food security shifted its headquarters from Singapore to the Netherlands.

Since then, reports say that the biotech scaleup has found specialized production partners,completed its C-level suite with Dutch talent, identified specialist support in various areas.

It is also signing commercial agreements and is on the verge of closing the next round of fundraising.

In addition, with its opening in Europe, the team has been able to move onto the factory floor and use all factory equipment simultaneously to increase development speed.

The company also has access to high-level research in local Dutch universities, including WUR, the world’s best agricultural university. StartLife and Planet Bio have also provided investor introductions to help bring Sophie’s Bionutrients to market.

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