SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North America EU edition | APAC edition

News > Markets

Read more breaking news

 

 

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+

01-Apr-2014
Last updated on 02-Apr-2014 at 23:49 GMT2014-04-02T23:49:03Z

Algatchnologies' southern Israel astaxanthin facility is set for expansion and cost reductions, the company says
Algatchnologies' southern Israel astaxanthin facility is set for expansion and cost reductions, the company says
Loading the player...

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel food and beverage ingredient in Europe, but first it must meet existing demands and cut prices, it said.

After a $20 million plant investment set to expand production capacity by over 100% is completed the firm will be better equipped to cut prices and meet demand for its algae products that is currently outstripping supply, the firm told us at its site in the Arava Desert in Israel.

Then it could move on to applying for approval as a novel food and beverage ingredient within the European Union, a safety go-ahead it already has in Japan and the US, said Efrat Kat, director of marketing and sales for the company.

The company's director, Hagai Stadler, also hinted that it would be announcing a new algae product at Geneva's VitaFoods expo in May that would be of a much higher concentration, potentially reaching 20%. It said the product would allow manufacturers the freedom to produce smaller capsules or add other ingredients within the supplement mix.

A novel food ingredient

Kat said the main problem for the company was supply, and it would hold off from releasing and promoting new applications until this was addressed.

"But we believe that within the next one or two years we will be in a position to actually promote and develop the delivery system for astaxanthin that will enable us and our customers to use astaxanthin as a functional food ingredient."

She said work remained on finding the right delivery system but its history in markets like Japan and the US would stand it in good stead to do this, and these markets would be the initial point of focus.

High Stress

Pinpointed for its antioxidant potential, astaxanthin is the red pigment found in algae and aquatic animals that eat algae. This pigment is part of the algae's defence mechanism when it is exposed to too much sunlight, heat or starved of a food supply.

Algatech triggers the release of the carotenoid by exposing the microalgae variety Haematococcus pluvialis - which it says is the richest known natural source of astaxanthin - to sunlight stress causing the green algae to release astaxanthin and turn red in the process of defending itself against UV damage.

It said its way of inducing this naturally occurring process within a closed pipe circuit produces a quality of astaxanthin superior to its pond-produced or synthetic counterparts since it eliminates potential contamination. It said its AstaPure brand has on average a 98% astaxanthin purity, while the market average sits at about 80%.

"Mixing - for us that's really a red flag," Stadler said.

A (pricey) cloud of details

Stadler said that it was open about its process of producing and extracting astaxanthin since to reproduce these effects would depend on, "one big cloud of details".

"There are very few companies like this is the world - mainly because it's frustrating," he said.

The plant is located on the outskirts of a Jewish community called a Kibbutz, with many of the workers living within the commune. He said this setting was well suited to the nature of algae cultivation.

"It's like an intensive care unit," he said. "With the Kibbutz, if something happens there can be someone there in five minutes. Control is very important."

However, he said this process as well as the plant's current limited production capacity - the firm is sold out for 2014 and half of 2015 - meant Algatech's astaxanthin was expensive.

Outside of this he said the firm was committed to improving operational efficiency by reducing its water footprint and harnessing the desert sun energy with solar panels.

The firm recycles more than 70% of its water, while the water used in the later treatment stages which must be kept fresh, is sent to local date plantations. "When you go to Europe it's very difficult to explain how precious water is [in the desert]," he said.

He added that 85% of Israel's waste water goes to agriculture and that the company, like others in the area, was subject to a cap on the amount of water it can use.

Related products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

As US consumers embrace a healthier lifestyle focused on prevention rather than treatment, they...

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

UK researcher backs supplements for omega-3 intakes

UK researcher backs supplements for boosting omega-3 intakes

Philip Calder

Professor, University of Southamption

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’ Expert warns wannabes

Beverage brand development guru James Tonkin has warned wannabe entrepreneurs that going up against...

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher, Loughborough University

Caffeine in small doses and during training may boost performance

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Professor John Cryan

Chair and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience,...

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...

What do college students think about immune support supplements?

Vox Pop: What do college students think about immune support supplements?

Winter is in full blast here in Chicago, a time when closed, compact quarters...

 ketone research attracts  elite sportspeople teams

'20 to 30 elite sportspeople/teams' involved in ketone research

Kieran Clarke

Professor of physiological biochemistry, University of Oxford

More must be done to make the healthy choice the easy choice CSPI says

Companies, retailers must do more to make the healthy choice the easy choice, CSPI says

Consumer interest in healthy eating is at an all-time high, and in many ways...

6 steps to take to “do good” and expand appeal to modern consumers

6 steps companies can take to “do good” and expand their appeal to modern consumers

Modern Americans expect much more from food companies today than they did in the...

DayTwo CEO Lihi Segal on gut microbiome & personalized nutrition

Personalized nutrition start-up DayTwo looks at stool samples to create bespoke diets based on users’ gut microbiomes

The question that sparked the research behind DayTwo was why some people gain weight...

Are personalized health developments changing the conversations around supplements?

Are personalized health developments changing the conversations around supplements?

Developments in personalized health has switched the data ownership from the doctor to the...

David Katz, reThink Food: Nutrition advice doesn't keep changing

Dr David Katz at reThink Food 2016: 'We're told nutritional advice keeps changing... that's just not true'

“I don’t know what to eat anymore because the ‘experts’ keep changing their minds...

Arla launches four new protein hydrolysates for sports nutrition

Arla: 'We believe we'll see more protein gels going forward'

Gel, powder, milky beverage, and clear beverage—these are the four whey protein applications Arla's...

Dr Jeff Bland: ‘The future of dietary supplements is to marry itself into this scientific wellness revolution’

Dr Jeff Bland: ‘The future of dietary supplements is to marry itself into this scientific wellness revolution’

Technological advances, from genomic testing to real-time data collection from wearables, will open up...

‘There’s a big & growing interest in personalized nutrition’: Expert

‘There’s a big & growing interest in personalized nutrition’: Expert

Interest in personalized nutrition and how it pertains to wellness is growing, and companies...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...