Unilever Advances Plant-Based Potential with Biotech Partnership

Unilever has partnered with a biotech startup to further its plant-based portfolio.

Algenuity, which specializes in developing microalgae for use in consumer products, will work within Unilever’s foods and refreshment R&D team to explore ways of bringing foods made with the alternative protein to the market.

Microalgae and other alternative protein sources are expected to play a significant role in the shift toward a more equitable and resilient food system, and Algenuity’s Chlorella Colours technology, which reduces the chlorophyll content of microalgae while still allowing them to retain their natural nutrients, widens its potential in food and beverage.

Plant-based products now make up around a third of the No. 4 consumer goods company’s portfolio, including dairy-free and vegan options such as Hellmann’s Vegan, Magnum Vegan and Vegetarian Butcher products.

“Microalgae offer much untapped potential as a viable, climate-friendly protein alternative,” said Alejandro Amezquita, future bio-based Ingredients R&D director, Unilever F&R. “They have a significant part to play in food system transformation. We are very much looking forward to working with Algenuity to explore the possibilities of making foods that contain microalgae more mainstream.”

“Transitioning to a sustainable food system requires all of us to work together. It’s one of the world’s greatest challenges and will not happen without partnerships and collaborations,” added Manfred Aben, VP Science & Technology R&D and Site Leader of Hive, Unilever’s Global Foods Innovation Centre. “This is what our Hive ecosystem is all about. We are delighted to welcome Algenuity to our community.”

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