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Algatech says longer shelf life a differentiator for its astaxanthin

By Hank Schultz , 31-Jan-2014

Companies are striving for ways to differentiate their ingredients in the red hot (pun intended) astaxanthin sector.  The latest effort has been made by Israel’s Algatechnologies, which has announced a longer shelf life for its algae-derived 10% astaxanthin oleoresin ingredient.

Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant and as such it is very sensitive to oxygen, heat and light,” Efrat Kat, director of marketing for Algatech, told NutraIngredients-USA.

“Since the purity of our AstaPure line of product is very high as well as the content of astaxanthin in the carotenoids fraction (>95%), it was found to be much more stable than other typical products in various storage conditions.”

Differentiating factor

Kat said in Algatech’s opinion this differentiates AstaPure from other astaxanthin ingredients on the market.

 “As far as we know, Algatech is the only company that offers 10% astaxanthin oleoresin stable at least 4 years at room temp,” he said.

Algatech approved the shelf life extension after completion of more than four years of real-time stability studies. These included a comprehensive series of experiments on the concentration of natural astaxanthin in AstaPure products to study the influence of air, heat and light, as well as various combinations of these parameters and over extended periods of time.

“In light of the impressive results of the studies, we are able to extend AstaPure’s shelf-life at room temperature with complete confidence,” said Oran Ayalon, PhD. , Director for R&D at Algatech. “In order to make sure the temperature is controlled and to further extend the shelf life, it is recommended to store the product in refrigerated conditions.”

Finished product testing

The new shelf life pertains to storage of the ingredient as supplied in its original, sealed container, Kat said.  How the improved shelf life will translate to finished products is a matter for further testing, he said.

“Since AstaPure is used in a variety of formulations and product forms, there is a need to test stability of each matrix. However, usually adding other antioxidants or lipids to the formulation further extends the stability of the astaxanthin,” he said.

Algatech is one of three companies involved in the formation of a group called the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association, or NAXA.  The purpose of the group, which includes Fuji and Cyanotech as founding partners, was to highlight the differences between the natural forms of astaxanthin derived from algae and the chemically synthesized forms available in the market from companies such as DSM.

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