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SCALE 2nd General Assembly: Key progress and highlights

The SCALE project held its 2nd General Meeting on the 28th and 29th of June 2023 in Baillargues (France) on Microphyt’s premises. This event was the opportunity for all project partners to observe the plant construction advancements and to exchange on the project’s progress to prepare the next steps. To know more about it, check the content below!


Plant construction advancements

The construction of the flagship plant has advanced successfully. The Part A of the industrial plant has been completed, increasing the microalgae cultivation capacity of Microphyt to 243m3. Additionally, the downstream process (DSP) for ingredient production is now fully operational. In 2022, work on the box structure continued, with equipment being installed within it.
Evolys, a technology provider partner, was deeply involved this year by providing LED design, ensuring efficient energy consumption and optimal conditions for the culture. Sunti has conducted an energy diagnosis, resulting in improved energy efficiency. As part of this, a photovoltaic (PV) panel system has been designed to be deployed on the roof of the SCALE plant. A 300KWC solar PV will be installed by the end of the year 2023.


Ingredient formulation for various applications advancements

Significant progress was made by MICROPHYT R&D & Products Team together with the 4 industrial partners for the development on the targeted applications of the Scale project: cosmetics, food, food supplements, and feed.
Regarding the use of Microphyt cosmetic bioactive ingredients, these are tested by Chanel Perfume & Beauty. To do this, Chanel Perfume & Beauty evaluates various parameters such as regulatory aspects, stability through the integration of Microphyt ingredients into their makeup and skincare products, safety and effectiveness through specific studies. Chanel have worked intensely on those steps and is evaluating four bioactive ingredients.
For the food application, the objective is to increase microalgae awareness, acceptability, and integration in food, through innovative nutrition. The first step of the LYFE Institute  partner (formerly named Paul Bocuse Institute Research Centre) was to study the European consumers perception of microalgae in food. In addition to social networks, a survey was carried out among consumers, star chefs in the gastronomy and professionals in food industry across Europe. The results were presented in April in Lisbon at the European Algae Industry Summit.
On the food supplements products, firstly with Plameca and then with Hedelab, significant work has been done on the galenic formulation of the various Microphyt ingredients (BrainPhyt™, GamePhyt™,…) in order to meet the expectations and requirements of this specific market. (liquid shots, monolayer tablets, capsules, …).
Lastly, Lallemand Animal Nutrition for feed application has identified good opportunities to valorize Microphyt’s coproducts and made important progress in assessing the efficiency of coproducts for various target species. The next steps will involve testing the efficacy of these coproducts on other animals, to evaluate their potential benefits and ensure optimal presentation.
In parallel, the LCSA activities has started to provide a holistic view of the sustainability of SCALE value chains. To do so, the first task implemented by Tecnalia was to collect and gather the necessary data from the relevant partners, mainly related to the production phases of the microalgae-based ingredients.
Bioeconomy For Change and PNO Consultants continue to work respectively on implementing the communication and dissemination to promote the project and its developments. The preparation of the exploitation phase for the delivery of the ingredients in high-volume thanks to the upscale of the plant is on going.


Launch of new microalgae-based ingredients

Microphyt has launched, in the last 12 months, 3 new bioactive ingredients on the market: 2 for Advanced Beauty and 1 for Novel Nutrition. Last part of the General Assembly was the opportunity for the Marketing team to present them to all the project partners who were gifted with some cosmetic end-product prototypes.
PhycoAge™ and PhycoSi™, the two new cosmetic bioactive ingredients, offer new solutions and unique benefits for the beauty industry.  PhycoAge™, is specifically formulated to address anti-ageing concerns. Microphyt relied on its expertise in microalgae and in particular its over 10 years of knowledge of Phaeodactylum tricornutum, a species with little-known anti-aging properties linked to its eternal youth heritage. This 3-in-1 anti-aging ingredient contains, among others, two powerful marine compounds: fucoxanthin and EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid), which are capable of regulating cell communication and reactivating the synthesis of essential elements for a firmer and lifted skin.
Always looking for more sustainable solutions, Microphyt’s R&D team successfully developed a process allowing the reuse of PhycoAge™ manufacturing co-product and thus valorize a new fraction of the microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum: silicium, an essential element of its wall allowing it to form a protective barrier against the external environment. As such, Microphyt came up with PhycoSi™, an upcycled bioactive ingredient containing bioavailable marine silicium, which recharges the dermis in depth and restores the skin on the surface and stands out as a fundamental skin reviver.
The new nutraceutical bioactive ingredient, called GamePhyt™ is an innovative ingredient specifically designed to boost cognitive performance. It is the first 100% natural bioactive complex clinically studied on experienced gamers with high cognitive abilities. This unique and patented ingredient is a smart combination of a microalgae extract and a botanical extract, specifically formulated to support the daily cognitive needs in a stressful environment. Indeed, it aims to enhance various aspects of cognitive performance, including: accuracy, reaction time, focus, decision making, processing speed, mental energy and has even proven to support quality of life parameters such as mood, sleep quality and visual comfort.  This ingredient is backed by extensive research and efficacy studies, including pre-clinical and clinical trials, to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Stay tuned to Scale’s to be updated on the project in the forthcoming months that will be full of events!