Microalgae for health


The Polysalgue project

Identifying and producing Microalgae Polysaccharides as biological and hydrocolloid active ingredients



The aquatic world, whether fresh or salt water, represents an under-exploited reservoir of molecules of interest for the fields of health, food and cosmetics. Microalgae alone represents a resource with potential to be explored for our future needs. Some applications are already present in our daily lives and others are the subject of fundamental research conducted by university laboratories, private companies and international research centres. 

The Polysalgue project, funded by the Agence Nationale de Recherche, brings together several research laboratories under the coordination of the Pascal Institute – UMR CNRS 6602. These laboratories include:

  • The Génie des Procédés, Environnement, Agroalimentaire GEPEA (Process Engineering, Environment and Agrifood) laboratory UMR CNRS 6144 of the University of Nantes
  • Roscoff biological station – CNRS UPMC
  • The UMR CNRS 6270 Surface Biopolymer Polymers laboratory at the University of Rouen
  • the Littoral Environnement et Sociétés LIENSs UMR 7266 laboratory at the University of La Rochelle.

ALGOSOURCE is the sole private partner of the Consortium.


Scientific objectives

The Polysalgue project involves an interdisciplinary approach to research, calling upon experts from the fields of biochemistry, physical chemistry, process engineering and microbiology who aim to better understand the strains of marine and freshwater microalgae that produce polysaccharides. These are glucose molecules, linked to each other, the best-known examples of which are starch and cellulose.

By developing scientific knowledge about microalgae, its potential for production on an industrial scale can be studied by targeting strong biological activities, notably the hydrocolloid capacity of the polysaccharides from microalgae.

In addition to the possibility of finding natural active ingredients that can replace synthetic products in the food industry, the following functionalities are possible in the nutraceutical and clinical nutrition sectors:

  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-tumour
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Neural preservation


ALGOSOURCE, partner of the Polysalgue project

The Polysalgue research consortium is working on: 

  • identifying the best microalgae strains that produce polysaccharides
  • identifying their chemical and biological properties
  • optimising and then intensifying production of the strain
  • assessing the market and future economic value (cost, applications, etc.)
  • evaluating the environmental impacts

The main role of ALGOSOURCE is to coordinate the technical and economic studies in order to establish the possible applications for using these polysaccharides and the market interest in them.

Links to the ANR: https://anr.fr/Projet-ANR-15-CE21-0013

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