One of the most significant long-term challenges in the feed and food animal production industries is to produce more food using fewer feed resources that is more sustainable and minimizes negative impacts on the environment.
Growth of the world population of people and increased consumption of animal derived food products are causing a greater need to improve productivity and sustainability of food animal production systems.
The demand for corn and soybeans, two of the most widely used crops in food animal production systems and for biofuel production, is greater than it has ever been, and it is expected to increase by 110% by the year 2030, thus increasing the need for greater productivity or additional land to grow crops.
Over 35% of corn and soybean production is used for animal feed in the world today, which signifies a challenge for animal production systems to reduce their carbon footprint.
In order to reduce the negative environmental impacts on both food production systems and the environment, a new generation of sustainable, alternative feed ingredients is being investigated. Microalgae are at the forefront of this new generation of novel feed ingredients, which can serve as a significant raw material for biofuel production and a source of nutrients for animal feeding programs.
Furthermore, various phytochemicals and functional nutrients present in microalgae make it a potentially attractive alternative to growth promoting antibiotics in animal feeds. The objective of this review is to describe industrial production, species, nutritional value, and data on the potential utilization of microalgae and microalgae products, specifically in diets for pigs.