Main Article Content
By 2050, 9.8 billion people are projected to live on Earth, which means that we need to double our current food production to keep pace with such a large population increase. In addition, rising greenhouse gas emissions and the associated climate change are placing a significant strain on the planet’s ability to sustain itself. However, in order to increase the quantity of proteins of plant origin, it is necessary to increase crop production areas, harvesting frequencies and the quantity of crops produced. Unfortunately, the optimization of these factors is already very close to the available maximum in the current situation. The developed cultivation systems and maximum utilization of the soil power leads to very serious environmental problems, soil destruction, loss of biodiversity and serious environmental pollution through the transport of the produced plant raw materials.
This poses a serious challenge to food security and further increases the risk of hunger. There is therefore a need for agricultural practices that can lead to the cultivation of food and feed crops that have better sustainability indicators and are more resilient to climate change, which can be used to safely produce health-promoting feeds, as well as novel and value-added foods. Within this group, a particular problem is presented by the protein supply of the population, as currently about one billion people do not have adequate protein intake. However, conventional protein sources are not sufficient to meet growing protein needs.
As mentioned above, food and feed proteins are based on plant proteins. In recent years, a prominent role has been played by the research into alternative proteins and the mapping of their positive and negative properties. Among alternative proteins, special attention has been paid to various yeasts, fungi, bacteria, algae, singe cell proteins (SCPs) and insects. In this paper, we focus on the presentation of algae, particularly microalgae, which are of paramount importance not only because of their significant protein content and favorable amino acid composition, but also because they are also sources of many valuable molecules, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments, antioxidants, drugs and other biologically active compounds. It is important to learn about microalgae biomass in order to be able to develop innovative health food products.