Roquette opens microalgae unit at Lestrem, France


With a production capacity of up to 5,000 tons a year

Roquette has opened a production unit dedicated to microalgae at Lestrem, France and has launched food ingredients made from renewable plant-based raw materials.

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

Renewable microalgae have for centuries been recognised for their nutritional qualities but remained little used until recently. Within its new industrial unit in Lestrem, Roquette produces chlorella, a microalgae that is rich in nutrients and is grown for a range of food ingredients, including:

  • algility HL, whole algal flour, which improves the nutritional qualities of recipes (reduces fat, optimises lipid profile) while preserving taste and texture;
  • algility HP, whole algal protein, which is under development and combines plant-based proteins (as an alternative to animal proteins), fibres and unsaturated lipids; and
  • algility chlorella, a whole food ingredient that is rich in proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is used in food supplements and aquaculture.

Roquette says numerous applications can benefit from algility ingredients owing to their 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.

\'We are convinced that microalgae are an effective answer to consumer concerns about nutrition and well-being,\' said Sergio Neves, Global Director, Microalgae Business Line at Roquette.

The Roquette Group first invested in microalgae by creating a dedicated research laboratory in 2006; then led the Algohub research project in 2008; acquired production sites in Germany in 2008 and China in 2009; and launched small-scale production at Lestrem in 2012, followed by the construction of the new industrial unit, which is now fully operational.

The new unit 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,\' said Guillaume Fichet, Site Director.

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\'It also benefits from the Group’s expertise in fermentation and in launching and running Roquette’s industrial installations.\'