In Florida PetroAlgae announced the completion of the first phases of two studies showing that PetroAlgae micro-crop protein could qualify as a new plant protein source for humans since soy protein entered the human diet in the 1950s.
PetroAlgae’s technology employs a hydroponic system using indigenous aquatic plants and is designed to enable its licensees to produce high-value protein, animal feed and a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, while absorbing carbon dioxide.
The studies were performed at the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, under the direction of Dr. Mario Ferruzzi; by Dr. Fadi Aramouni of the College of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University; and by independent laboratories such as Craft Technologies, Inc.
Researchers at Purdue found that PetroAlgae protein is rich in carotenoids, chlorophyll, antioxidents and other organic compounds of nutritional value. The PetroAlgae protein contains high concentrations of lutein, a pigment which has demonstrated benefits for human eye, skin, and cardiovascular health, as well as women’s health, as
described by the Lutein Information Bureau. It also exhibited promising polyphenol levels that have been shown to have beneficial antioxidant effects that help prevent various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and inflammation. These nutrients are normally obtained in the diet only through the consumption of fruits and green vegetables.
In a separate series of tests, Craft Technologies, Inc., a leading testing laboratory that specializes in food and nutrient testing, assessed significant levels of Vitamins C, E, D and K in PetroAlgae’s Protein Concentrate. PetroAlgae protein was found to contain healthy levels of these vitamins, especially vitamins K1 and K2 in the form of menaquinone-7. Recent studies have shown exceptional benefits for cardiovascular and bone health from consumption of menaquinone-7, and the analyses show that PetroAlgae protein could be a new potential source of these vitamins to meet recommended daily allowances. In addition, the vitamin E tested by Craft was found to contain high levels of alpha tocopherol, the strongest and best form of vitamin E that is preferentially absorbed and accumulated in humans.
The aim of Dr. Aramouni’s investigation at Kansas State University was to examine the use of PetroAlgae’s protein in high volume foods such as noodles, tortillas, crackers, and smoothies. Their results indicated that PetroAlgae’s protein could be used for food fortification without having to change the way people prepare and eat food. As well, it could also address a valuable market for completely gluten free baked goods and pastas, according to the study.
“It is really exciting to work with a quickly renewable source of protein,” said Dr. Aramouni. “The implications for protein depleted areas of the globe could be significant.”
More background on the story from the Digest
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