Algal proteins are derived from a group of aquatic organisms called algae, which are found both in freshwater and saline water. Manufacturing algal proteins include cultivating algae and fermenting them. These fermented algae are further dried and milled which leads to the disruption of the algal cell wall to release a number of bioactive compounds like proteins. Algal proteins are extracted from various strains of algae, and the most popular ones which are the richest in the protein source are spirulina and nannochloropsis, both being marine water alga. Currently, algal proteins are typically applicable in the aquaculture hatcheries to facilitate the initial steps of the artificial food chain. However, due to modernization, algal proteins’ applications are expanding in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements.
Demand For Clean Label Food Ingredients Expected To Enrich the Algal Proteins Market
Algal proteins are increasingly being recognized as a superfood as they boasts of a higher protein content as compared to other natural sources of protein. In some strains of algae, proteins comprise around 40-60% by weight of the algal extract. Therefore, in the backdrop of increasing health awareness and demand for clean-label and natural food ingredients, algal proteins market is expected to become one the fastest growing segment in the food industry. Spirulina, which is an important strain in the algal proteins industry, is riding high on the success of its use as a functional food ingredient as well as a natural food color. Algal proteins manufacturers are also focusing on offering algal proteins at reasonable prices, which reflects a high competitive scenario amongst key players across the globe. However, algal proteins market has yet to pass the tests of approvals from the regulatory bodies which may slightly hinder the growth of the market. Algal proteins have garnered very little awareness and consumer trust amongst consumers and false claims and hype about algal proteins is tampering the image of algal proteins in the market. For instance, Soylent Corporation, which manufacturer protein substitute products, was compelled to formulate products free of algal flour due to violent illness caused by the algal flour.
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Algal Proteins Market Segmentation
The algal proteins market is segment on the basis of source, end use and nature.
On the basis of source, the algal proteins market is segmented into-
On the basis of end use, the algal proteins market is segmented into-
- Food and Beverage
- Dietary Supplements
- Animal Feed
- Cosmetics & Personal care
On the basis of nature, the algal proteins market is segmented into-
Algal Proteins Market: Regional Analysis
Since, health awareness and consumer expenditure on niche and premium food ingredients is high in regions such as North America, Western Europe, China and Japan, the demand for algal proteins is also high in these regions. Currently, food innovation is the key focus of the food processors in the developed regions which paves more opportunities for the growth of the algal proteins market. In APEJ, manufacturers are being increasingly confronted with the challenge of contamination, from where the algae for the extraction of algal proteins is sourced from. Since food regulations in the developed regions are stringent, European manufacturers find it hard to source the raw materials from regions like APEJ, obstructing international trade of algal proteins. On the other hanc, in countries like India, initiatives by the government are also encouraging demand for algal proteins. For instance, in March 2016, the Karnataka government, a state government in India launched Balposhna scheme for eradicating malnutrition. Under this scheme, the government provided 2gm of Spirulina for 180 days to 25,000 children across the state.
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