IFT18 Opportunity of Plant-Based Ingredients

August 2, 2018

Many food science and technology professionals eagerly wait for the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting (IFT) and Food Expo. This annual event held in Chicago attracted more than 20,000 attendees from all over the world. The team from Algarithm and POS Bio-Sciences were there to promote our business and new line of ingredients and products offered through Alagarithm and Lakessence, as well as to get the feel of new and upcoming trends in oils, proteins, and other areas.

Anusha Samaranayaka, Senior Scientist at POS Bio-Sciences, joined Ben Kelly, Co-founder & Managing Director at Algarithm, to chat about their IFT experiences from a plant-based ingredients perspective. Below we summarize some broad trends, opportunities and our contribution in solving current problems.


Consumers are demanding plant-based alternatives to traditional food and beverages due to rising consciousness about individual health benefits, environmental effects and animal welfare. The new scenario is being claimed by emerging plant-based food companies (in addition to a few old companies) that are delivering on the promise of quality, sensory experiences, and functionality. Plant-based alternatives to dairy are appearing in forms such as almond milk in cold brew coffee bottles and pea milk in chocolate mousse. Plant-based proteins such as pea, chickpea, lentils, and nut proteins like almond are becoming popular as ingredients for final products such as vegan nacho cheese, toast spreads, lentil pasta and snacks. The photo above right is dairy-free, vegan Pea Milk Mousse, made by Saskatchewan locals AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.


Primarily driven by the desire of end customers for transparency, companies have been adopting clean labels in food and beverage products such as organic, non-GMO, less (refined) sugar, (saturated) fats, salt, etc. A growing end customer demand for nostalgic and natural food is popularizing food and beverages with simple ingredients that are functional in nature, and involving minimal processing. This pull is making processes such as cold press and cold brew (often coupled with high-pressure processing) suitable replacements for ultra-high temperature pasteurization and aseptic processing.


As we gain a better understanding of the relationship between gastrointestinal health and overall wellness, consumers are demanding more probiotics (and the prebiotics that fuel their growth) which are finding their way into different types of beverages. Companies are currently using fermentation to get unique flavors, functionalities, and, nutritional benefits.

Fermented drinks such as kombucha and apple cider vinegar are becoming more popular.

MycoTechnology, a company producing a unique protein using mushroom mycelium and a fermentation process is accelerating its production due to the high demand for soluble and easily digestible proteins with appealing taste profile. Other companies such as Terramino and Wild Earth are using cultured fungi for food and pet food applications.


Food science and technology is rapidly advancing through discovery of functional ingredients and demand by customers for clean labels, minimally processed, fermented and plant-based alternatives. As climate change disrupts large scale industrial and resource intensive (energy, water and land) agriculture, cellular agriculture, urban/backyard farms, plant-based ingredients and foods such as meat analogues and dairy alternatives are proving to be options in feeding the world.

POS Bio-Sciences and its start-up company Algarithm Ingredients are uniquely positioned to be a leader in algal and plant-based ingredients with applications in food, beverages and dietary supplements, delivering on the promises of quality, sensory experience, functional properties and most importantly, economies of scale. Below we provide a couple examples of commercial products that uses our ingredients and/or technology.

Part of the Solution

The North American market is hungry for foods with functional attributes and healthy profiles, but flavor and alternatives to fish Omega-3 can be hard to come by. This year, Algarithm along with its partners Virun NutraBIOsciences and Sol Cuisine launched two food products to address that by offering dietary supplements for brain and eye health, with amazing taste, and plant-based Omega-3, all in one serving.

A. Vegan Omega-3 Rich Burgers

Sol Cuisine’s newly launched Lemon Dill Salm’n Burger available at major grocery and health food stores across Canada and the US, is a great way to enjoy based protein and Omega-3s while keeping your head above water. With 1g algal Omega-3 (DHA) and 14g clean plant-based protein per serving (113g patty), and superfoods such as Fava Bean Protein, Maca Powder, Lucuma Powder, and Mesquite Powder, this burger is an easy and tasty way to enjoy plant-based Omega 3s, proteins and superfoods everyday.

B. O3Omega Smoothies

O3Omega Smoothies is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy plant-based Omega-3s everyday. Breakfast Flavor and S’mores Flavors (gluten free, sugar free and vegetarian) are currently available at 70 Co-op stores across Western Canada. Two new vegan flavors to be added in the future includes NOT Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with real almond butter, and Caramel Swirl. With 3,000mg of MCTs, 400mg vegetarian algal DHA, 2g protein per 1 tablespoon serving, no fishy taste and heat stable, O3Omega can be used in coffee instead of creamers, on pancakes instead of syrup, in cereal instead of sweeteners, and multiple other exciting and flavourful ways.

All materials used to produce the O3OmegaSmoothies are sourced from sustainable components. Philip Bromley, CEO of Virun explains, “Algarithm’s Omega DHA is sustainably sourced from algae, as opposed to fish oil omega which endangers declining marine fish populations. Additionally, we use MCT sourced from coconuts instead of palm oil. Palm oil production is a major cause of rainforest destruction and deforestation.”


Algarithm is the Smart Source for Plant Based Omega-3 Ingredients providing high quality, algal, value-added algal ingredients for a wide range of food, beverage, and dietary supplement (including infant) applications. Algarithm’s AlphaMega3 algal Omega-3 (DHA) oil stands apart from other plant based DHA sources due to its flavor and odor characteristics (or lack thereof) and superior stability.

With our plant-based, toxin-free and sustainable ingredients, we are revolutionizing functional ingredient sourcing. Along with our partners we’ve the expertise to formulate your final product and deliver Omega-3 in any application, without compromising on taste.

POS Bio-Sciences is an applied contract research organization offering process development, analytical, and custom processing services for the bioprocessing industries. We specialize in extraction, fractionation, modification and purification of bio-based materials. Industries served worldwide include nutraceuticals, food & feed, biofuels, agriculture, cosmetics & personal care, and industrial bioproducts.







Pea Milk Mousse. Photo from LinkedIn profile of Mehmet Caglar Tulbek, Director – Research and Development at AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.