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A group of Australian researchers are developing a food-and-drink algae that could be a potential alternative to the carbonated drinks popular in the world’s top countries.
The algae, called acridina, has been used in the production of alcohol, including beer, wine and spirits.
It’s produced by splitting water into the right proportions to form a protein, which is then fermented into alcohol.
“We’ve got a good recipe for a commercially viable product that is a combination of a bio-abundant crop with the bio-diversity of an algae,” Professor Richard Jardine, from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Molecular Ecology, said.
“The algae is an extremely important part of our food chain.”
Dr Jardines research group has been working with algae in China and China has been producing algae for around two decades, but it’s the first time Australia has been involved in algae production in the way it has.
“It’s really interesting because we’re getting into the second phase of algae production, where we’re trying to find out how we can increase our productivity and increase our yield of the algae,” Dr Jardining said.
Dr Jordine said while there was a need for the algae in Australia, it was important to take the process to its logical end.
“You can’t make algae at home, but you can do a lot of work in the lab and grow them in the laboratory,” he said.
“And then when you harvest them you get some bio-equivalent, and that’s what you get in the bottle.”
The first batch of algae will be grown in the north-east of the country, and will be commercially available in Australia by late 2019.
Dr Jardeins research group hopes the algae will help fuel growth in Australia’s dairy industry, which has suffered from a lack of good water sources.
Topics:dairy-and‐milk,algae,food-and‑drink,dairy,food,harbour-2680,melbourne-3000,australiaContact Andrew CawleyMore stories from Victoria