Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business Travel

Rooftop algae a growth industry in Bangkok

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 - 02:11

Sept. 23 - Urban algae farming is gaining a foothold in Bangkok with the rooftop of one big hotel supporting a small but flourishing algae industry. Algae is well known as a source of biofuel, but the species being cultivated on the roof of the Novotel produces Spirulina, a vitamin-rich, so-called ''superfood''. Tara Cleary reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

The chefs at Bangkok's Novotel are bringing new flair to their cooking ... and incorporating a novel, green sensibility to their recipes at the same time, thanks to spirulina, an edible algae the hotel is growing in tanks on its roof. Manager, Manuel Reymondin calls it magic. SOUNDBITE: MANUEL REYMONDIN, NOVOTEL RESIDENT MANAGER, SAYING (English): "We now use it in our buffet, we use it for breakfast, we use it for lunch, we use it for dinner, we can mix it. The good thing about that product is that it doesn't affect the taste of whatever you're going to mix it with." Already popular in health drinks, spirulina is easily cultivated and packed with protein and anti-oxidants. The Novotel is adding it to sauces, soups and deserts, and, on the whole, customers seem to approve. SOUNDBITE: RATCHANEEWAN KORASMUT, BANGKOK RESIDENT, SAYING (Thai) : "I like to try new and odd things. You look at this (green) color and you might be alarmed, but when you eat it, it tastes good." And the urban-farming experiment is flourishing. What began as a two-barrel project is now a mini-industry with nearly one hundred barrels producing 100 kilos of spirulina per month. The venture is managed by food company, Energaia, which harvests the algae three times a week. Baking soda is added to the mix to regulate pH and provide carbon for speedy growth. And once the spirulina is ready, it's rinsed and spun dry, before being packaged. Energaia's Derek Blitz says it's one of nature's most versatile plants. SOUNDBITE: DEREK BLITZ, ENERGAIA TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR, SAYING (English) : "The idea of growing algae has been used for waste water treatment, it's also been used for animal feed and spirulina in particular has a very good nutritional content and so it's an ideal food for people to consume." And ideal for the skin, according to the Novotel - so the hotel spa is offering spirulina treatments. Energaia is also partnering with other hotels in Bangkok and hopes to install more than a thousand bioreactors by early 2014, turning urban algae farming into a growth industry for Thailand.

Rooftop algae a growth industry in Bangkok

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 - 02:11

Top News »

Investing 201 »

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Money Clip »

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)