Demonstration of innovative functional food production systems based on a more sustainable value chain of marine and freshwater raw materials for conscientious European consumers
Funding: Horizon Europe; this project has received funding from the European Union under Grant Agreement N° 101084180.
Funding Period: 36 months
Project runtime: 01.05.2023 – 30.04.2026
Project leader: NOVAFOODIES, led by IDENER.AI
Project employee: Philipp-Konrad Schätzle
The diversity of species exploited, and products derived from aquaculture and fisheries has remained static in recent decades, driving pressures on environment, including poor feed conversion ratios and coastal eutrophication. Considering the growing population, a holistic and ecosystems-based restructuring of primary processes and value chains is a priority in order to achieve more balanced, and efficient aquatic food production systems. In this view, increasing waste recycling, balancing production to host environment carrying and regeneration capacities, and diversifying species production to better match local conditions should be considered to improve the current situation and boost innovation in this sector. One of the main sources, both directly as (ingredients for) new food products and as the basis to produce other aqua food products are algae.
Algae are proven to be food of great quality and nutritional value for humans, while its production contributes to mitigating climate change by CO2 capture. Micro and macroalgae production have commonly been focused on a narrow range of species, and existing systems are still not technologically efficient. However, algae alone cannot be the entire solution for a more sustainable seafood value chains, which need changes along the entire value chain, controlling of environmental impacts, and diversified production with levels of environmental sustainability and product traceability generating greater consumers’ trust.
Aware of these challenges but often working in isolation, there are many organizations developing solutions to improve efficiency in the aquatic food sector. NOVAFOODIES brings together some of these organizations in a unique consortium to demonstrate new approaches that ensure future seafood production is both profitable and environmentally.
NOVAFOODIES is an interdisciplinary project bringing together 28 partners from Europe, Israel and China, with complementary backgrounds to interact closely in a synergistic manner.