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Biofuel or Brioche?

A company searching for a way to create biofuels from algae has instead stumbled on an oil-like substance that can replace the oil and eggs in food, reports David Biello at Scientific American. "We were looking for biodiesel but found a product that's good for delivering fat," Ken Plasse, the vice president for business development at Solazyme, tells him.

Solazyme uses Prototheca and Chlorella algae in which it has inserted genes from other species to up the oil production. The algae are then grown in the dark to induce stress and fed sugar to produce the maximum amount of oil, Biello says.

Biello adds that the substance, called algalin, on its own tastes sort of like pancake mix, but is better in food. "The ice cream and caramels are delicious, but it's the brioche that really convinces you eating algae could be a winning idea," he writes.