Trending Supplement Ingredients: Algae
They may be small, but they sure can pack a punch! Rising from the waters and coming to a formula near you, let's take a closer look at how this versatile ingredient is finding its way into 2016s hottest dietary supplement products!
Incorporating Algae into Your Next Supplement Formula
Before we dive in, it's worth taking a moment to point out that every supplement formula is different and that these suggestions may be applicable to your next supplement formula, but they may not be – and that's okay. There are always new formulations to consider and supplements to be made!
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's dive on in!
Algae as a Source of Protein
When it comes to the alternative proteins market, algae (along with a number of other plant-based protein sources) have started to capture some serious attention from consumers and industry insiders alike.
Along with being an environmentally responsible option (algae farming has been found to be a carbon neutral practice), algae and algae powders can technically be enjoyed by a larger portion of the consumer population than traditional whey or casein-based protein powders.
If marketed correctly, an algae-centric formulation has the potential to meet the needs the following consumers:
- Vegetarian & Vegan Consumers
- Consumers with Dairy/Lactose Concerns
- Whey & Casein Protein Consumers
On the science side of things, the amount of protein that's been found to exist within certain species of algae is nothing less than impressive! Research has shown that dried spirulina (a popular variety of blue-green algae) can contain as much as 70% protein by weight!
That's almost three times more protein per serving than beef! For a tablespoon-sized serving (roughly 7 grams), this translates to nearly 4 grams of protein. Not too shabby for a bunch of single-celled sea plants, huh?
What's more, research has also shown that when compared to other plant-based sources of protein, spirulina may be easier for the human body to digest thanks to the structure of its cell walls.
Additional Considerations: Algae, like many plant-based protein sources, has a natural taste that can only be described as nothing less than acquired. While some people have no objection to their pungent, ocean-capturing flavor, others can't stand it.
Our recommendation? When working with a protein formulation that includes a significant amount of algae, make sure your contract manufacturing has the experiences and the resources to flavor the final product in a way that will leave your customers wanting more.
Other Ways to Incorporate Algae into Your Next Supplement Formulation
Relying on algae as a source of protein isn't your only option. The vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and omega-3 rich profiles of certain species of algae lend themselves to a near infinite number of formulation possibilities!
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About the Author: Melissa DellaBartolomea
Melissa DellaBartolomea is NutraScience Labs' resident Content Marketing Specialist. Driven by a passion for the world of written, visual, and digital media, she's dedicated herself to keeping up with all things nutraceutical. From ingredient insights to the latest in contract manufacturing regulations and trends, her mission is to provide our readers (like you) with the stories and knowledge they need to fuel long-term growth and nutraceutical industry success.