Microalgae and cyanobacteria for food

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 04 October 2022 13:14

Description of the innovative solution

Alternative protein Animal feed Aquaculture Desert agriculture Food biodiversity Food design Preservation Behavior change Food environment - personal Consumer choice Nutritious food

Microalgae and cyanobacteria can be farmed year round in many parts of the world by using renewable energy in order to be used as a source of protein in human consumption. Algae is packed with proteins and other nutrients that are essential for human diets and can be added to increase protein content. This source of protein has fewer negative environmental impacts than production of other protein sources (crops and livestock) as it has the potential to decrease soil degradation, reduce overuse of freshwater, and reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Algae grows in brackish water and can use geothermal or hydroelectric energy sources in order to power LED lights that allow the algae to grow. Currently, microalgae and cyanobacteria are mainly sold as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets and health drinks for human consumption, but are also used as feed additives for livestock and aquaculture. The main species farmed are Spirulina, Chlorella spp., Haematococcus pluvialis and Nannochloropsis spp.

Supply chain segment

Agricultural inputs and primary production practices

Maturity level

Gaining traction


Food quality Climate mitigation Soil health Increasing agrobiodiversity Reducing pollution

SDG target

SDG 2: Zero Hunger SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being SDG 10: Reduced Inequality SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13: Climate Action SDG 15: Life on Land


Urban Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

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Scientific paper
A scientific article that reviews that pros and cons to using micro-algae and cyanobacteria as a food source.
Shared by IFSS Research Team


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