Jumbo supermarkets introduced last week the Algae Burger. These meat substitute burgers are made from spirulina, an algae species that already exists for 3.5 billion years. The algae are supplied by StartLife startup Duplaco based in Hengelo.
The algae veggie burger is a beautiful addition to the landscape of vegetarian products, according to Ed van de Weerd, Director of Commerce at Jumbo: “Jumbo wants to offer its customers a maximum of choice including the largest range. The offer in our supermarkets will not be extended only if the customer asks for it, but we also want to inspire customers with special and innovative products like this new algae burger. ”
According to ‘Damhert’ producer of the Jumbo burgers algae offer the possibility to create a more sustainable food chain, using only sunlight and salt water as an energy source for growth.
The Belgian producer writes on her website that since the sixties, extensive research has been conducted on the nutritional benefits of spirulina. There are now more than 100,000 studies and articles published on the health benefits. The algae contribute to a healthy immune system, are a provider of energy and contribute to healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The Algae Burger at Jumbo exists for 60 to 70% of protein. The spirulina algae is rich in antioxidants and contains vitamins, minerals, and several unsaturated fatty acids.
Increasing the production of algae at Duplaco
Marcel Oogink of Duplaco is excited about the launch of the algae burger: “We are pleased with the success of the algae burger and proud that we can contribute with our Spirulina algae. The development of this product started in early 2015, the pleasant cooperation with chain partners has encouraged us to put more energy on product introductions in both the food and feed.
For human applications, we do this via the EFRO project ‘De Groene Eiwitversneller’. To meet the growing demand, we will significantly increase our production in the coming years. This is possible with help of CQ Green Protein Fund, our new external investor. ”
The PoultryBot developed by Bastiaan Vroegindeweij, founder of LiveStock Robotics is nominated for the Innovation Price of the laying hen business. The startup is founded by Bastiaan after his PhD research at Wageningen University.
Cerescon, developer of an automatic asparagus harvester, is the first startup which successfully completed the entire StartLife Incubation Program. StartLife launched the incubation program for agriculture and food startups in the summer of 2015.
Since the beginning of 2014, the team of Cerescon is busy with the development of an asparagus harvesting machine which makes it possible to harvest without manual stabbing asparagus.
In the coming asparagus season, the startup will test their alpha-testing machine throughout the season at an experimental farm of Wageningen UR (University & Research center) in Vredepeel. Starting at the last weeks of the season, the alpha-machine is also tested at three large growers in the Netherlands and Germany.
First prototype in 2018
Thérèse van Vinken, co-founder of Cerescon: “After testing the alpha-machine, we proceeded directly with the development of the beta-version. The beta-version will be extensively tested in the asparagus season of 2017. In 2018, we will bring the first prototypes on the market. After the launch of the prototype we will increase our production and will export the machine worldwide”.
StartLife Incubation Program
After the start of the program in the summer of 2015, a total of 12 startups entered the program. The program consists of three rounds and offers startups access to financing via a pre-seed loan for each round and personal coaching. Van Vinken: “Following the program was for us very valuable. StartLife has challenged us within the program to be critical towards our current ideas and future growth plans.”
Jan Meiling, director StartLife: “We are very excited about the team of Cerescon. They have lots of contact with prospective customers through a self-created user group and are a complementary team. They have the potential to become a market leader. ”