Swiss food and drink giant Nestlé is increasing its plant-based portfolio in a partnership with Dutch food and bio-chemicals company Corbion, Bio Market Insights wrote.

The partnership involves the development of microalgae-based ingredients that can be added to plant-based foods to improve nutrition and taste, according to the 11 March report.

“We are actively exploring the use of microalgae as an alternative protein and micronutrient source for… plant-based products,” Nestlé CRO Stefan Palzer said in a statement.

A clean source of protein, fat and nutrients, microalgae offer significant health benefits to vegan food products, according to the report.

Nestlé and Corbion would use fermentation technology to develop microalgae products with lower carbon, water, and land footprints than other more conventional ingredients, Bio Market Insights wrote.

Nestlé has a range of plant-based products, which are all expected to benefit from microalgae developments as they progress, according to the report.

“Corbion has already demonstrated the value of algae in several high-value food and feed applications. This protein partnership with Nestlé has the potential to open important avenues for algae-based products into large global markets,” Corbion executive vice president of innovation platforms Marc den Hartog said in a statement.

According to its website, Amsterdam-headquartered Corbion is a leading producer of lactic acid and its derivatives and also a major supplier of emulsifiers, functional enzyme blends, minerals, vitamins and algae ingredients.