Starting next year, Unilever plans to insert oils extracted from algae in its personal hygiene products. The decision is a key element in the group’s sustainability plan, which includes using exclusively resources from sustainable farming in its products by 2020. Solazyme, a California based company specialized in the extraction of nutritive substances from algae, including fats, will supply the oils.
The process, explained in an article published in Il Fatto Alimentare, consists in collecting a wide variety of raw vegetable material (herbs, cane sugar residue and cereals) to feed single cell algae, which have the natural ability to synthesize the oil, inside large reservoirs. As sustainable aquaculture, oil extracted from algae is a concrete hope for nourishing the planet in the future.
As ecologically sustainable cultivation in water, this optimizes the production of nutrients while reducing energy consumption and environmental impact to a minimum. It also works on a small-scale. This makes it crucial to push research forward, together with the transfer of knowledge so that local communities across the world can produce food with a high biological value that completely respects the habitat.