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ILVO is the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. They perform multidisciplinary, innovative, independent research from farm to fork, aimed at developing safe, healthy and sustainable food for the world’s population. Within the ValgOrize project, ILVO not only takes on a coordinating and communicating role; they are also (together with Zeewaar) in charge of Work Package 3 (WP3); Acceptance of seaweeds and micro algae.

In order to promote this underused resource for food consumption, one of the essential steps to be taken is deciding the flavour profile of the most popular kinds of seaweeds and micro algae. That is why ILVO is training an expert tasting panel, who will then be able to analyse, characterize and assess the flavour of these algae.

Another aspect of WP3 is assessing algal safety. “One of our experts in food safety will analyse this aspect, testing the chemical and microbial criteria to make sure seaweed and micro algae are safe to consume. He will be doing this as part of the work package task, but furthermore, before we let our expert panel taste the algae we obviously need to be sure it is safe to do so.”

Besides making sure algae are safe and tasty to eat, ILVO wants to make sure they actually are a sustainable solution for the future challenge of feeding earth’s population. That is why they are also doing a sustainability analysis of the existing algae products in the market. Finally, ILVO will also be taking on the challenge of analyzing the residual streams of the algae that cannot be used for food, and to see if they can still be valorized by using them in (chicken) feed, and what effects they might have on the final meat or egg product.