Sophie's Bionutrients launches burger patty from microalgae
Photo - Sophie's Bionutrients

Sophie's Bionutrients launches burger patty from microalgae

Sustainable food production

Sophie's Bionutrients, a next-generation sustainable urban food production technology company, has pushed the frontiers of plant-based food by developing burger patties made from microalgae.

The alternative meat patty boasts up to two times more protein than beef or most commercially available fish. Each patty, which weighs around 60 grams, is loaded with 25 grams of proteins – comprising all nine essential amino acids, including histidine and leucine, vital for producing proteins and tissue repair. For every 100g of the microalgae patty, up to one-third comprises proteins. This is 10% higher than the total amount of protein content found in many cooked fish types.

Sophie's Bionutrients, a B2B food technology company, is on a mission to unleash the limitless possibilities of nature, restore our planet and eliminate food allergies by creating plant-based, protein-rich alternatives meat and seafood using microalgae, the mother of all food and plant life. In 2019, Sophie's Bionutrients won SGD 1 million (approximately Rs 5.45 crore) grant from Temasek Foundation The Liveability Challenge and will open its first urban protein production facility in Singapore 2021.

Sophie's Bionutrients' development marks another milestone for the Singaporean homegrown agri-food start-up, which uses microalgae and patent-pending technologies to develop 100% plant-based and sustainable alternative protein.

"We have been working relentlessly towards strengthening global food security by unlocking the limitless possibilities of nature – with microalgae being a vital source of nutrients in the ocean. By developing this burger, we hope to showcase the microalgae protein flour's versatility that goes beyond making plant-based seafood products. Microalgae-based products can match or exceed the nutritional value of meat. We will continue to synergize the power of nature and technology to broaden our range of plant-based products while doing good for the environment," said Eugene Wang, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Sophie's Bionutrients.

The company's burger patty is a culmination of months of research and development in a local laboratory. Scaling up the protein source from single-cell microalgae, Sophie's Bionutrients produces an unadulterated protein-rich plant-based flour. To achieve a chewy meat-like consistency, the flour is extruded into textured protein crumbles. These crumbles are then formed and shaped into patties. Each production batch, which makes around 20 to 100, can be done within a week.

A bouquet of 10 spices, including paprika, nutmeg, cloves, and bay leaf, is used to season the patty, imparting a rich umami flavor. Besides being high in proteins, the low-sodium burgers are also rich in Vitamin B, including B12, which is found naturally in meat and keeps the body's nerve system and blood cells healthy.

The burger can also be used and cooked in myriad ways. Using proprietary technology, the alternative meat can be minced or cubed. It can also be cooked by grilling, deep-frying, or boiling.

Prioritizing food safety, Sophie's Bionutrients uses various microalgae strains, including chlorella, which is ubiquitously found in health supplements. These microalgae strains have been approved by the Singapore Food Agency and European Food Safety Authority for being safe for consumption.

Besides burgers, other products in the pipeline by Sophie's Bionutrients include crab cakes and protein crackers.

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