Exploring algal bioproducts: through a new streamlined characterisation screening platform

Australia hosts a wealth of biodiversity still to be identified and potentially harnessed.

Algae are found in almost every environment. They provide us with oxygen for every second breath we take and assist in the creation of the ozone layer. These organisms are now being used for new applications and bioproducts. In Australia the main algal products are food, ag-feed and nutraceuticals, with demand for the latter growing as Australians becoming more health conscious. Animal feed exploration to aid reduction in methane emissions, and improved productivity has fuelled extensive investment into two red seaweed species Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata where CSIRO are presently working within this area.Scientific conical glass flasks filled with algae solutions of different colours.

The global demand for nutraceuticals increased from $80 billion to $180 billion between 2013 and 2021. Australia’s slice of this market is estimated to be $5.2 billion per annum.

Global aquaculture is dominated by a small number of species that provided 28% of the total production of 114.5m tonnes in 2018. The emerging markets of nutraceuticals and other seaweed products provides opportunities for the development of novel products and use of novel species. 

Streamlined production pathways are necessary to assist companies to produce novel algal bioproducts in Australia. 

The aim of this project is to create a streamlined algal characterisation screening platform within ANACC and CSIRO using capabilities within the Environomics Future Science Platform. We will test the streamlined extraction and characterisation pathway for the identification of potential algal bioproducts. In addition, we will explore the circular economy aspect of the food-grade waste by-products that occur during the bioproduct extraction progress.

Project lead: Dr Diane Purcell (Impossible Without You Research Scientist)