Javier Cremades, a researcher from BIOCOST group, works with macroalgae, aquatic organisms which, like microalgae, are receiving increasing attention from the European Commission. The reason is the enormous versatility they offer, from the food industry to their use as biofuels, the pharmaceutical industry or as bioremediators.
For World Water Day, 22 March, the researcher was interviewed along with other algae experts, with the aim of pointing out some of the benefits of promoting the use of algae, as well as the major obstacles encountered by those who want to research and develop their applications.
Cremades assures that both types of algae <<have a great projection in the food industry, both for direct consumption and by incorporating them as an ingredient in the preparation of other products>>. However, for their exploitation to be sustainable, it will be necessary to cultivate them in marine farms.
The disadvantages, according to the researcher, are, firstly, that <<administrative procedures act as a bottleneck>>, it would take a company up to two years to start a pilot project. And secondly, he points out, that specific legislation should be drafted for harvesting algae and not use the same legislation that exists for shellfish.
All the experts consulted predict a bright future for both micro and macroalgae in the Spanish industry, but agree that more economic and human resources will have to be devoted to making it a profitable and sustainable resource.
The full article in ABC, 22/03/2021, María José Pérez-Barco.
Image from ABC