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Bühler supports production of microalgae proteins

Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) led to the Bühler Group’s development of an industrial prototype for the urban production of microalgae proteins. Now, Bühler’s technology is supporting a microalgae protein project at the Singapore-ETH Centre.

Prof. Alexander Mathys, head of the "Urban Microalgae Protein" project, and Dr. Leandro Buchmann, bioprocessing project manager at Bühler, with Stellar Gemini.
Prof. Alexander Mathys, head of the "Urban Microalgae Protein" project, and Dr. Leandro Buchmann, bioprocessing project manager at Bühler, with Stellar Gemini. Image credit: Bühler

The Stellar technology, a world first developed by the Bühler Group in the St.GallenBodenseeArea, is an example of technology transfer from academia into industry. It is the result of the longstanding collaboration between the ETH and the Bühler Group and will be used by the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) in its Urban Microalgae Protein Project to develop a platform for the urban protein production of microalgae proteins. The three-year project is based in Singapore and is supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore.

The patented Stellar technology is the first of its kind, according to the SEC in a statement. It uses nanosecond pulsed electric field processing to grow single-cell cultures, like microalgae, at a faster rate without biologically altering them. Stellar Gemini is the device that enables the application of these pulses. 

The Urban Microalgae Protein Project aims to develop a sustainable, urban single-cell protein production platform and microalgae-based food concepts with taste and nutrition profiles, according to the statement. It is a step towards securing an adequate protein supply for a growing population, particularly in metropolitan areas with little agricultural land.  

“We are proud that the scientific fundamentals developed at the ETH Zurich Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory led to the development of a first industrial prototype system within only two years through the tremendous effort of a great team at Bühler,” commented project lead Alexander Mathys. He said this enabled the team to deliver industry-relevant results in the project.

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