Seaweed and micro algae on the menu

Thursday 31 Oct 19


Charlotte Jacobsen
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 23 27 90 75
In order to be able to produce enough food for the growing world population in the future, the National food Institute is exploring the great potential in utilizing aquatic resources such as seaweed and microalgae for foods.

We need new ideas for food sources as the world population is growing. Bare farmland is becoming sparse, and therefore, the National Food Institute is looking under the surface of the ocean to explore the potential for growing nutritional resources such as seaweed and microalgae on a large scale.

The plants in the sea are a rich source from which omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and bioactive peptides can be extracted and included in the food production and as ingredients for food and feed

Think seaweed in new ways
"The ambition is that the National Food Institute can contribute knowledge which would enable the industry to create healthy, nutritionally balanced, and sustainable foods from the ocean’s resources. Globally, we must be better at utilizing the resources so that we are able to feed the growing population in the future as well."
Professor Charlotte Jacobsen

Seaweed is looking increasingly like a nutrition-rich raw material in the production of food, and bladderwrack seaweed in particular can turn out to be a useful, healthy, and sustainable source for new ingredients in foods. Seaweed also shows promise in the production of cosmetics and in the pharmaceutical industry.

The small, green features of the sea

There is also potential in extracting ingredients from micro algae which can be used in the production of foods. Therefore, the National Food Institute is cooperating with various research institutes and partners with the industry to explore the possibilities of growing algae on a large scale.

Read more

Read more about the National Food Institute’s research into seaweed and algae in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: Seaweed and micro algae on the menu.

The National Food Institute is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, as it was decided on June 5, 1959 to establish a national food institute in Denmark. The other articles from the anniversary publication will be published over the coming months.

You can also read the article: At the forefront of healthy, safe and sustainable food.

The National Food Institute develops new and better food products for a growing population

According to forecasts from the UN, the world population will grow by more than two billion people over the next decades so that the total world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. At the same time, the middle class is growing, and more people are moving from the countryside to the cities. 

As such, there will be more mouths to feed, and the demand for healthy and convenient foods is also increasing.

The UN estimates that in 2050 we must produce 70% more food than we do today to feed the world population. However, the current way of producing food will most likely not be able to meet this demand. 

There is a need for research and innovation to find new sources of healthy, safe, and better foods and food components. 

The National Food Institute’s vision is to make a difference by developing new and better food products for the growing population. The institute finds new raw materials and ingredients, assesses their nutritional content and the safety in using them – and develops technologies with which to produce them. 

Foods must be healthy, safe and preferably also tasty.

Image: National Food Institute