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AUS - Ocean organism could be key to animal-free meat

A fungus-like microbe taken from the pristine waters of South Australia could prove to be a vital ingredient in making everything from nutritional supplements, medicines and biofuels to animal-free meat, according to Flinders University researchers.

A fungus-like microbe taken from the pristine waters of South Australia could prove to be a vital ingredient in making everything from nutritional supplements, medicines and biofuels to animal-free meat, according to Flinders University researchers.

"Currently, the global market for nutritional supplements is increasing in value, with more and more people turning to them for added health and diet benefits," says Associate Professor Munish Puri, a medical biotechnology researcher in Flinders University's College of Medicine and Public Health.

"However, our current sources of these products—namely animals including sea creatures—are not sustainable in the long run, so there is a need to search for alternative sources of protein and lipids required in their production."

Writing in the journal Trends in Biotechnology, Associate Professor Puri and colleagues say thraustochytrids (a group of marine microbes) could prove a valuable source for not only nutritional supplements, but provide for other industries, to produce medicine, cosmetics, aquaculture, biofuels and, eventually, animal-free meat.

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