An industrial seaweed processing line will be set up this year by Merinov, the Quebec Center for Innovation in Aquaculture and Fisheries in Grande-Rivière. The $ 1 million project will convert up to 400 kilograms of algae per day.
The equipment will serve as a research platform and will be made available to companies.
The Merinov project manager, Karine Berger, explains that the equipment will serve, among other things, to stabilize the algae which tend to dry quickly.
They will also allow drying, bleaching, deep-freezing and bagging of algae, “she says. “It’s really a complete line with several types of equipment for stabilizing algae. Either to make other products thereafter or even to extract biomolecules of interest. ”
From the harvest, the algae are stored until they are processed. Then you can decide to freeze them or dry them, then pack them at the end.
Karine Berger, project manager at Merinov
Also, the equipment will serve as a demonstrator for companies wishing to upgrade their seaweed. The production line should be in operation within a year.
It is funded in part by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
This project is part of the OPTIMAL program which has made great strides in the field of algae processing. It is based on an industry-research partnership and has, among other things, enabled the development of the edible laminar crop and related products, such as crackers and chips.
Research has also helped to improve industrial production, such as finding outlets for unused parts.
OPTIMAL received $ 2.3 million in funding over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.