Food and nutrition company, Qualitas Health recently joined forces with Barcelona-based chemicals business Grupo Indukern and Stockholm-based food-tech investor Gullspång Re:food on the back of a successfully completed Series A funding round, both of which will help the company disrupt the algae protein market by developing new and innovative products.
U.S.-based Qualitas Health formed partnerships with Barcelona-based Grupo Indukern and Stockholm-based Gullspång Re:food to increase its dominance over the plant-based market as well as receive the investors’ guidance and use of facilities to develop opportunities and focus on applications for its iwi protein.
Cultivated in pond systems that are constructed on desert land that is unsuitable for growing more traditional crops, Qualitas’ algae use solar power and saltwater, has a minimal footprint on the planet, and seeks to provide employment opportunities for the rural communities.
The iwi protein is obtained from Nannochloropsis algae and according to the company, it has essential amino acids and vital nutrients that cross the Food and Agriculture Organization’s recommended amount, and exceed the amounts in egg and whey as well.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO of Qualitas Health, Miguel Calatayud, said that the partnership and funding will help boost their company’s production.“We are delighted that Grupo Indukern and Gullspång Re:food are joining the Qualitas enterprise and participated in our investment round. Both companies bring decades of experience and deep knowledge of our markets to Qualitas and will be key participants in our growing success.”
Gullspång Re:food and Grupo Indukern bring know-how and expertise, to iwi’s existing supplement business and wider recognition of our newly developed Nannochloropsis algae protein. They also provide a global vision, a distribution platform for Europe and other countries and regions, and unique expertise in plant-based proteins and finished productsMiguel Calatayud, CEO of Qualitas Health
The company further claims that the amino acids in its iwi protein help build muscles, are water soluble and don’t have an overpowering flavour, texture or aroma. Some of the key markets targeted by the company are personalized nutrition, high-performance sports nutrition market, and adult nutrition for protein deficiencies.
A Gullspång Re:food managing partner, Peter Odemark, said: “Qualitas has a great story to tell. Its algae are cultivated in impressive pond systems built on non-arable land in the desert, place a minimal footprint on the natural ecosystem, harnessing natural sun-power for energy, and utilizing saltwater while creating jobs in rural communities. We share the same values and vision for creating a better future, better nutrition, and protecting the planet.”
Gullspång Re:food and Grupo Indukern have vast knowledge, skilled technological teams, and advanced technologies will help in conducting clinical research and accelerate the regulatory process for EuropeMiguel Calatayud, CEO of Qualitas Health
In the past as well, Gullspång Re:food has invested in food tech companies such as Oatly and N!CK’S. Grupo Indukern works in the chemicals arena and its products can be applied to food solutions and flavours, as well as animal health products (Calier) and pharmaceuticals (Kern Pharma).
Calatayud added that both these companies are the “perfect partners for the current scaling stage”. “They bring know-how and expertise, to iwi’s existing supplement business and wider recognition of our newly developed Nannochloropsis algae protein. They also provide a global vision, a distribution platform for Europe and other countries and regions, and unique expertise in plant-based proteins and finished products. Their knowledge, skilled technological team, and advanced technologies will help in conducting clinical research and accelerate the regulatory process for Europe.”
The marine-based protein ingredient, as well as the entire product line, will be unveiled in 2022.
Algae-based protein is having a moment around the world with several companies innovating in this field, for instance, recently, Triton Algae Innovations announced its plans to unveil plant-based algae ingredients as well as its first retail product which will be a tuna analogue in an effort to show the world the usefulness of the underwater crop in alternative proteins.
Smallfood, a Canadian microbial ingredient company recently launched a new strain of microalgae to create alternative meat and the strain can be grown in just seven days and uses fewer resources thus having a small carbon footprint on the environment.
Here is a list of eight startups around the world that are leveraging algae and showing its versatility not only in the alternative protein sector but in the fashion industry as well.
Lead image – iwi’s algae pools, courtesy of Qualitas Health.