UK — Canadian biotechnology company Pond Technologies is set to launch its algae-based animal feed products in the UK market following the signing of a licensing agreement with UK-based Livalta.

Pond Technologies designs and operates scalable bioreactors that use industrial greenhouse gas emissions and specialized growing systems to cultivate algae and other valuable biomass.

According to the biotech company, the genetically modified algae express complex proteins that can be used in the production of animal feeds, therapeutics and medicines.

Under the deal, the Canadian company will supply the system needed to grow the algae while Livalta, AB Agri affiliated company, will sell the algae derived feed ingredients.

In a recent debrief to its shareholders on the project, the biotech company revealed that initial engineering work on the project has been completed.

Also commenting on the progress made to date on the algae project, Valerie Schuster, MD of Livalta said the partners had managed to hit a key production milestone to enable the pilot facility to go online Q4 2022.

Pond’s demonstration system will be used to grow algae strains for animal feed trials. The plan thereafter is to construct an industrial-scale plant at the same site for the production of commercial algae-derived feed ingredients.

With a superior amino acid and lipid profile compared to plant-based food additives, algae can satisfy the needs of large-scale agri- and aquaculture.

It is considered a superfood and is known for its nutritional and functional vale in both food and animal feed.

Spirulina, their first product, is 60-70% protein by weight and contains numerous essential vitamins and minerals.

The investment in the UK comes at a time when the global algae market is picking up momentum with producers and users on every continent, Europe leading its adoption.

The market was valued at US$2.27 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$4.286 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.88% from 2022 to 2031, according to data from Allied Market Research.

The awareness regarding the health benefits of algae products is one of the key factors that is gaining consumer attention.

When it comes to feeds, Spirulina and chlorella are the most common algae for this type of application. They are added to whole foods, treats, and supplements for pets and are both rich in nutrients.

Spirulina, for instance, targets the immune system and overall health of pets, but more research is needed into its effectiveness.

Additionally, the increasing need for protein and the rising costs of fish meal have led fish farmers to look for an alternative in Algae, creating further opportunities for producers like Pond Technologies.

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