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Roquette’s New Microalgae Facility Increases Food Application Potential

roquette logoRoquette, a global leader in processing plant-based raw materials (corn, wheat, potatoes, peas and microalgae) introduces a production unit dedicated to microalgae at its industrial site in Lestrem (Pas de Calais, France).

This industrial unit formally launches a new range of food ingredients made from renewable plant-based raw materials with exceptional nutritional potential.

By diversifying its range with microalgae products, the Roquette Group answers the needs of customers and consolidates its position as a global player in Food, Nutrition and Health.

A new generation of food ingredients produced at Lestrem

First appearing on Earth around 2.5 billion years ago, renewable microalgae have, for centuries, been recognized for their nutritional qualities but remained little used until recently.

Within its new industrial unit in Lestrem, Roquette produces chlorella, a microalgae that is particularly rich in nutrients and is grown for  a range of food ingredients, including: 

  • algility™HL, whole algal flour, which was recognized as the most innovative ingredient of the year at the FIE Innovation Awards 2013
    This whole food ingredient significantly improves the nutritional qualities of recipes (reduces fat, optimizes lipid profile) while preserving taste and texture.
  • algility™HP, whole algal protein
    This whole food ingredient, which is under development, combines plant-based proteins (as an alternative to animal proteins), fibers and unsaturated lipids.
  • algility™chlorella, a nutrient-rich whole food ingredient
    This whole food ingredient is rich in proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is interesting for use, especially in food supplements and aquaculture.

Thanks to their composition, these whole food ingredients provide both nutrition and positive sensory attributes on a daily basis. Numerous applications can benefit from algility™ ingredients robust nutritional and functional potential, such as improving the softness and nutritional profile of brioche, providing detoxifying properties to smoothies, enriching soups with a new combination of plant-based proteins, and more.

The Roquette Group’s expertise applied to the development of this new Microalgae channel

Since the 2000s, Roquette has strongly believed in the future role of microalgae in food, nutrition and health. With its expertise in drawing value from agricultural raw materials, the Roquette Group invested in microalgae: creating a dedicated research laboratory in 2006; leading a research program in 2008 (ALGOHUB® supported by OSEO now Bpifrance); acquiring production sites in Germany in 2008 and China in 2009; and launching small-scale production at Lestrem in 2012, followed by the construction of the new industrial unit, which is now fully operational.

The level of industrial and commercial production is the fruit of Roquette’s scientific and technological expertise in this new Microalgae channel.

A production unit at the heart of Roquette Group’s largest industrial site, at Lestrem

The production unit at the Lestrem site cultivates chlorella by fermentation in a fully closed, protected and controlled environment.

“The industrial unit benefits from the whole infrastructure of the Lestrem site, the biggest of the Group’s 21 units and the biggest biorefinery in Europe. It also benefits from the Group’s expertise in fermentation and in launching and running Roquette’s industrial installations.” Guillaume Fichet, Lestrem Site Director, said.

The unit has production capacity of 4,000 to 5,000 tons/year.

“Thanks to this new investment in microalgae, Roquette has become a major player in this emerging sector.” Sergio Neves, Global Director Microalgae Business Line, said. “We are convinced that microalgae are an effective answer to consumer concerns about nutrition and well-being.”

About Roquette
Roquette, a French family-owned group with an international dimension, processes maize, wheat, potatoes, peas and microalgae, all renewable raw materials.

One of the world’s five leading starch manufacturing businesses, it offers its customers a wide range of products and solutions in the fields of Food, Nutrition and Health, as well as Plant-based Chemistry.

Since its foundation over 80 years ago, its development has been based on innovation, passion for the job and commitment to achieve.

Roquette operates in over 100 countries, has a turnover of 3.4 billion euros and currently employs 8,000 people.

Its mission: « Serving men and women by offering the best of nature ».

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