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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Updated on May 24th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Algal Tech 2023: Delicious, Nutritious and Sustainable Fresh & Dried Sea Vegetables For a Healthy World

With their groundbreaking technology, Algal Tech has unlocked the potential of Aonori and Sea Lettuce, two nutrient-rich marine vegetables with immense culinary and nutritional value. By cultivating these sea vegetables in controlled environments, Armando and his team are leading the way in creating a sustainable alternative to traditional land-based farming, ensuring a constant supply of healthy and delicious food while preserving our precious resources. Today, Delivery Rank delves into Armando's remarkable journey, from the inception of Algal Tech to the challenges faced along the way. We'll explore the potential of these sea vegetables in transforming the culinary landscape and contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future. So without further ado, let's dive deep into the world of Algal Tech and welcome Armando Leon to our interview.

What inspired you to pursue the development of a disruptive technology for the sustainable production of Aonori ?

For over 25 years our US-Mexico team has been led by Benjamin Moll, Ph.D, he developed methods of growing low-cost algae Aonori (Ulva clathrata) and, later, for the multi-trophic brown shrimp with Aonori culture. In 2016 our team formed Algal Tech to continue the development of a business model based on the use of the aeroponics technology we developed since 2008 to produce sea vegetables as a key ingredient in human diets.

Can you explain how your technology differs from traditional methods of cultivating sea vegetables and why it is considered disruptive?

Algal Tech’s Control Environment (CE) Aeroponics production system for sea vegetables is high-yield at low cost, our system yields a volume per hectare/year 3 X greater than traditional Asian in land pond systems and 2 X than Western CE Hydroponics systems (large in land tanks with continuous water mixing), with a production cost 50% lower. We can produce 500 Wwt/Ha/year of biomass per year and capture 53 Dwt of CO2/Ha/year.The production cost of Algal Tech’s sea vegetables is comparable to that of intensive CE Hydroponic agricultural systems for vegetables.

Sea vegetables provide multiple direct benefits to health helping to fight, control and prevent diseases such as obesity, diabetes, etc. when included in a diet as a protein and fiber-rich vegetable. The sea vegetables of Algal Tech have a high bioavailable content of: soluble dietary fiber (≈25%), vegetable protein (≈25%), vitamins (A, B12, C and E), minerals (Fe, Ca, Mg, Mn, I, K ), carotenoids ( lutein)  & other beneficial compounds for humans. By introducing fresh sea vegetables, a new Superfood to the market; Algal Tech intends to be at the forefront of the new trend in healthy, clean and simple ingredients (a $1.2 USD billion market with 30% CAGR) producing sea vegetables which bring significant value to our customers and to final consumers. 

How does your technology ensure the scalability of production while maintaining the quality and nutritional value of the sea vegetables?

Our CE Aeroponics System is modular; outputs are predictable, repeatable and scalable proven during two pilot operations. Our patent pending system results in a high-yield sea vegetable production that is done in a controlled environment with the optimal dosage of sunlight and nutrients, with very low energy consumption.

Are there any specific regions or markets where you see the greatest potential for the growth and commercial success of your technology?

We plan to build our first commercial operation in Ensenada, B.C., Mexico just 70 miles from San Diego, Ca., from here we can supply the markets of the Western states of the USA and later to the rest of the USA. We will introduce our fresh, frozen and dehydrated sea vegetables using a B2B strategy through food processors, food service companies and brokers. Our strategy is to develop SKUs with beverages, frozen food, prepared meals,  and snacks companies for nutrient- rich offerings.

How do you address concerns regarding the potential impact of sea vegetable cultivation on marine ecosystems and biodiversity?

Our system is sustainable; it does not require fresh water nor fertile agricultural land and has no negative impact on the environment. We do not use pesticides, herbicides or insecticides. Our patent pending system results in a high-yield sea vegetable production that is done in a controlled environment with the optimal dosage of sunlight and nutrients, with very low energy consumption.

If you would like to find out more about Algal Tech, visit https://algaltech.wixsite.com/algaltech1

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