AlgaeFarm will be co-located with AquaFarm and NovelFarm from May 25-26 and is organized in collaboration with the Italian Association for the Study and Applications of Microalgae (AISAM). The event will discuss the continuously growing sector represented by scientific researchers, equipment manufacturers, growers and those who use microalgae in a variety of fields, including nutraceuticals, food, energy and industry.
“AlgaeFarm comes at the right time in the evolution of the European and world market,” said Alberto Bertucco, president of AISAM. “We are grateful to Pordenone Fiere that has been offering the sector an important opportunity to meet for the past five years.”
The latest research by California-based StrategyR revised the size of the current market upwards, one step away from one billion dollars (990 million) last year, with an average annual growth forecast of 5.2% between now and 2026. According to StrategyR, the two most important algal species right now are Spirulina (49%) and Chlorella (29.4%).
In Italy, the demand for dried microalgae is around 200 tons for uses ranging from food and nutraceuticals to cosmetics and from pharmacopeia to feed for fish. Less than 13% of the demand is now satisfied by national production, for three quarters concentrated on Spirulina, headed by a dozen companies that focus on organic certification, due to the high quality required by our market. Competition is very strong especially regarding “certified organic” Spirulina from India, China and Southeast Asia which boasts prices that are one-third of the European one.
However, the market potential remains very high and interesting. Market prices go up very quickly looking beyond dried biomass, which can be defined as the zero degrees of use of microalgae, and focusing on other substances obtainable from fresh biomass (therefore not exposed to Asian competition). Fatty acids, including omega-3s, sprout between $200 and $600 per kilo while for fucoxanthin, a powerful anti-inflammatory, even $45,000 per kg.
Today, research focuses on improving the productivity of cultivated microalgae. Those hot topics will be discussed during AlgaeFarm conferences. Technologies and innovations for microalgae culture will be scheduled on May 25 while on May 26, the conferences will be dedicated to applications - pharmaceutical and cosmetic chemistry, food and nutraceuticals and energy and industry, agriculture and livestock production.