EXTRATOTECA - Microalgae with High Added Value

Friday, October 6, 2023 - 17:24

Microalgae are a group of very little differentiated microscopic living beings that are extremely diverse and ubiquitous: they are present in all the Earth's ecosystems. They can live freely or in symbiosis with other organisms and are responsible for recycling around half of the oxygen in the planet's atmosphere. They represent a cosmic potential of useful resources and functionalities, but not even 10 % of the species have been described.


The research and development project EXTRATOTECA - Microalgae with High Added Value ran from 2019 to 2023 and focused on creating a collection of microalgae extracts of global relevance. The project developed a catalog of selected extracts from isolated microalgae available in the culture collections of the participating institutions.

Various production and processing technologies were used for each species studied. The extracts were fully characterised chemically, biochemically, and functionally, which allowed a better understanding of the value of each extract and the respective microalgae. The functional characteristics of the extracts are the key factor in their commercial value, pointing to potential applications in areas such as food, health, cosmetics, feed and fertilisers.

EXTRATOTECA project received funding of around 1.4 million euros and was formed by a consortium of various organisations coordinated by the company A4F - Algae for Future. The partners included CIIMAR, the Polytechnic of Porto, the University of Aveiro, and the University of Minho, as well as the Católica’s Faculty of Biotechnology. The video summarising some of the activities carried out as part of the project can be seen below.