Alternative protein sources are everywhere. A tremendous amount of effort is being invested in researching and developing new resources and processing methods. GEA customer, Duplaco, has big dreams, which required finding a partner that was willing to invest and who understood what they wanted to achieve.
For Duplaco, located in Hengelo, the Netherlands, cultivating microalgae is about a commitment to producing healthy food. Their Chlorella microalgae has not only a high protein content, but also contain substantial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids and dietary fibers.
Microalgae are the smallest plants on Earth – many people come across them in their ponds. We’re producing them here for use as food ingredients and food supplements.”– Marcel Oogink, Owner, Duplaco
The algae are cultivated heterotrophically in fermenters; this method reduces the production footprint. In the first step, the bacteria are removed from the microalgae, which means it is axenic, or bacteria-free. Next, the algae culture is cultivated at a quantity sufficiently large enough for mass production in the fermenter. From there, the Chlorella is harvested and sent to a cooling tank prior to pre-concentration via a GEA centrifuge. A spray dryer converts the concentrated mass into powder which can be pressed into tablet form.
Using this process, Duplaco is able to produce Chlorella microalgae in diverse forms, with >10 or >20 percent dry matter, and in either powder or tablet form. This flexibility provides food and feed producers with the best formulation to add to their products.
GEA sales and engineering experts helped Duplaco on their journey by providing expertise and the right equipment to ensure their algae products are high quality and have maximum consistency, while at the same time minimizing Duplaco’s energy costs and production footprint.
We’ve gone from laboratory scale to pilot scale – and now from pilot to full-scale production. GEA has proven to be a partner that thinks alongside and with us.”– Marcel Oogink, Owner, Duplaco
A rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, it’s not surprising that algae has become a highly sought after raw material for numerous products in the pharma, chemical and food sectors.