SimpliiGood, Haifa tie-up will be 'transformative' for sustainable spirulina

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

SimpliiGood's spirulina farm / Pic: SimpliiGood
SimpliiGood's spirulina farm / Pic: SimpliiGood

Related tags spirulina Circular economy

SimpliiGood by AlgaeCore Technologies is teaming up with international plant nutrition giant Haifa Group to optimize the Israeli food tech innovator’s spirulina supply chain. The partnership shows ‘the maturity and potential of the entire sector’, according to Baruch Dach, SimpliiGood founder and CTO.

SimpliiGood and Haifa have entered into an agreement to co-pioneer sustainable closed-loop spirulina production, through a circular economy partnership that they say will strengthen the ingredient’s reach and ‘accelerate’ development in areas like spirulina-based salmon alternatives.

SimpliiGood grows and markets fresh and frozen spirulina. The start-up is culturing concentrated functional ingredients and producing a range of ‘nutritious foods’ that are ‘breaking new ground in the plant-based protein sector. For instance, under development is the first smoked salmon alternative made nearly entirely from a single ingredient: whole fresh spirulina, the company noted.

This multi-faceted long-term collaboration agreement delivers benefits to both companies’ products and bottom lines in the short term. It also positions them to create a sustainable circular carbon economy ‘within the next several years’. The companies predict the collaboration has the potential to ‘transform the entire spirulina market’ by optimising upstream spirulina operations and perfecting production input for enriched output.

"This important milestone demonstrates the maturity and potential of the entire sector, not just of our company,"​ said Baruch Dach, SimpliiGood founder and CTO. "It will boost our supply chain efficiency, reliability and scalability, making our spirulina an even more affordable, resilient and trustworthy food source for the future of food."

Optimal production, minimal cost

A key focus of the partnership is to optimize the growth media for spirulina cultivation while minimizing costs. Haifa Group will innovate its ready-to-use nutrient mixtures for commercial spirulina cultivation by leveraging distinct SimpliiGood know-how and experience. The aims is to reduce raw material expenses, which will decrease spirulina costs. The initiative will also fortify the supply chain, ensuring raw material security for safe, reliable, consistent supply.

“Standardization and predictability will make our spirulina more uniform – while maintaining high protein and antioxidant composition,”​ commented Lior Shalev, co-founder and CEO of SimpliiGood. “SimpliiGood will earn a strong competitive market advantage from these benefits within six months, and Haifa Group will expand its product portfolio to include these new products.”

Strengthening supply chains is important ‘now more than ever’, Shalev continued. “As a vertically integrated operation sourced by the Haifa Group partnership, we will be empowered with broad perspective and control across the entire value chain.”

Enhancing R&D

Both companies will continue to expand their product R&D. “We believe that this win-win farm-to-fork collaboration will meet the global needs in feeding microalga as a wide source of protein, and serve both companies well,”​ commented Natan Feldman, Haifa Group VP Marketing, Business development & innovations. “We made a strategic decision to enter the microalgae market and selected SimpliiGood following a meticulous search. We found their long-term vision fit hand-in-glove with ours; their commitment to the planet inspiring.”

Shalev added: “Haifa Group brings extensive crop-nutrition optimization talent to the table. The group’s pioneering R&D subject matter expertise is ideal for our big picture plans.”

The initiative will allow SimpliiGood to ‘set a new standard’ for functional ingredients and plant-based alternatives, Dach continued. “We are very excited about how this strategy will set a new standard in functional ingredients and plant-source alternatives. Our proprietary development will enable SimpliiGood to expand into game-changing mainstream plant-based foods. For example, we will be able to speed our introduction of the first protein-rich smoked salmon steak analog made predominantly from spirulina. This innovation has been gaining momentum and recently attracted the attention of the global food industry.

“Our ability to produce fresh spirulina-based products in a market that focuses heavily on dried spirulina is a major differentiator for us and a huge leap forward for consumers seeking appealing plant-based proteins.”

Upcycled waste for circular spirulina

Carbon dioxide is needed for spirulina growth during photosynthesis and Haifa Group produces CO2 during product manufacturing.

Haifa Group and SimpliiGood will build side-by-side production plants in the Negev Desert to pass carbon dioxide from the Haifa Group plant to the SimpliiGood spirulina production facility.

This process, which will transform CO2 pound-for-pound into spirulina, will both reduce waste and enable sustainable carbon fixation, the companies said.

Ultimately, the companies want to establish a ‘large-scale global circular economy’. SimpliiGood will evaluate the Haifa Group waste stream to determine the additional components that can be introduced into microalgae production. The assessment will include heat, nutrients and compounds – such as nitrogen, which is a key building block of protein. “Leveraging the full power of upcycled synergies, the entire operation will do its part to achieve net zero. It will minimize the environmental footprint of both partners while maximizing efficiency, cost effectiveness and quality over the long term,” Elimelech explained.

“The SimpliiGood-Haifa Group collaboration takes us within reach of our goal to be the world’s largest net-zero spirulina cultivator and producer,”​ concluded Shalev.

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