Scientists at a micro-algae protein project in Singapore have announced that they have chosen technology supplied by Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer Bühler to increase the laboratory’s processing efficiency.

The aim of the Singapore-ETH Centre’s (SEC) micro-algae protein project is to develop a sustainable, urban single-cell protein production platform and microalgae-based food concepts with specific taste and nutrition profiles, according to the 31 August joint SEC/ Bühler statement.

The three-year project was supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme, SEC said.

Bühler said its Stellar technology uses nanosecond pulsed electric field processing to grow single-cell cultures, such as microalgae, at a faster rate without biologically altering them.

“The Stellar technology will enable us to deliver industry relevant results to improve the eco-efficiency and productivity of microalgae supply chains by establishing a pulsed electric field (PEF)-based biorefinery as part of the Urban Microalgae Protein project,” SEC project lead and senior scientist Dr Iris Haberkorn said.

“Nanosecond pulsed electric field processing can have a tremendous impact on the bio-based domain and the alternative protein sector focusing on single-cell-based value chains.”

The project aimed to enhance Singapore’s food security by establishing resilient, sustainable and cost-effective agri-food systems using microalgae-based food products, the SEC team said.