What is the project about?

Providing market knowledge and tools (e.g. seaweed taste panel) to accelerate the development of sustainable and flavoursome algae foods for the European market.


Why is this important? 

Since the high climate burden of meat has been revealed, plant-based nutrition is the future. Considering the growing demand for food, yet declining land surface to produce it, seaweed and microalgae are especially high on the list of foods with potential. Though the global market for seaweed grows annually, European seaweeds are not fully embraced as future foods. Even though local food production is a more sustainable option than importing from overseas. In the project, the potential of European seaweed for food applications is being researched. In order to increase consumer acceptance of locally produced seaweed and microalgae, taste and aroma profiles are developed to help create great recipes and products. This way, the project also contributes to a more plant-based nutrition transition.   

What were the objectives? 

  • Develop tools and analytical methods to assess the safety, quality and profiles for taste  
  • Develop a taste panel 
  • Set up an interdisciplinary knowledge-based, open-source platform to support sustainable cultivation  
  • Create an investor roadmap about upscaling production from pre-commercial to commercial stage. 

What did we do in this project? 

North Sea Farmers leads the study on valorisation in the ValgOrize project, to support and accelerate the development of a technically and commercially viable seaweed supply chain for food applications. To achieve this, the existing market, the market potential and the key success factors of the algae food market will be studied and identified, and a feasibility report and investors roadmap will be composed. 

What are the results? 

Deliverable 1:  Study on the existing markets for seaweed food applications (oct 2021)

Deliverable 2: Market potential report for cultivated seaweeds (jan 2021)

Deliverable 3: Key succes factors for transitioning to sustainable seaweed supply in Europe (jan 2021)

Deliverable 4: Feasibility report supply chains in the 2 seas region (june 2021)

Latest newsletter: ValgOrize newsletter June 2021

Who else were involved? 

EV-ILVO Eigen Vermogen Instituut voor Landbouw- en Visserij Onderzoek (BE), VITO-Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (BE), NIOZ- Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NL), HZ University of Applied Sciences (NL), Zeewaar BV (NL), ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale (FR), Université de Lille (FR), University of Greenwich (UK), Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (UK), Nausicaa (FR) 

Finance: €5.7 million for 4 years  
Support:  Europese Unie | Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO)
Partners: 11 partners from 4 different EU countries 
Time: 07/2018 – 03/2022 
Contact: Iris menger