Sustainable food security - ProFuture


ProFuture logo.pngMicroalgae Protein Ingredients for Food and Feed in the Future (ProFuture), is a four year research project (2019-2023) funded by EU Horizon 2020. It aims to scale up microalgae production and investigate and prepare the market uptake of microalgae proteins as ingredients for innovative and sustainable food and feed products. The project is coordinated by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) in Spain. The consortium consists of thirty participants located in thirteen different European countries, including Ghent University in Belgium.

Project description

ProFuture will set the basis for market uptake of innovative, heathy and sustainable food and feed products reformulated with protein-rich ingredients from different microalgae species. The research and innovation project consists of several steps, subdivided into ten work packages including e.g. innovation in microalgae cultivation and harvesting, development of protein-rich ingredients, reformulation of food and feed, scale-up of microalgae production, as well as market and consumer science research.


The goals of ProFuture are to set the basis for market uptake of innovative, socially responsible, healthy and sustainable food and feed products, reformulated with microalgae-protein enriched ingredients and to demonstrate their social and economic benefits by validating the technical and economic feasibility of innovative technological solutions, prepare market uptake, determine consumer acceptance and disseminate project results to relevant stakeholders.

In order to reach these goals, the following specific objectives will be pursued:

  1. Increase the efficiency and sustainability of microalgal biomass production for the three species currently approved as novel food in the EU: Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina), Chlorella vulgaris and Tetraselmis chui, as well as the one species approved only for aquafeed (Nannochloropsis oceanica).
  2. Assess innovative technologies to produce protein-rich ingredients from the microalgal biomasses at lab and industrial levels.
  3. Reformulate ten types of nutritious foods and feeds with the microalgal protein-rich ingredients at lab and industrial levels.
  4. Analyze and improve the whole microalgae value chain in EU member states (for food and feed applications) with minimized environmental impacts;
  5. Assess consumer perception, acceptance of and preference for microalgae protein-rich products.

Role of Ghent University

The main role of Ghent University in the ProFuture project is dedicated to objective 5 related to consumer perception, acceptance and preference for microalgae protein-rich products. This research is situated in ProFuture’s Work Package 8 (Consumer perception and acceptance), which is led by Ghent University. Ghent University is also the task leader of Task 8.2: Identifying potential market segments for uptake of algae-based ProFuture products. Within this research component, quantitative insights into consumer interest in algae-based food products, consumer segments and willingness-to pay are assessed with the use of a large-scale consumer survey in several European countries.



Prof. Wim Verbeke

Dr. Yung Hung

ir. Hélène Van der Stricht

Department Agricultural economics - Agro-food marketing and consumer behavior
Phone number: 09 264 61 81