SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition - North AmericaEU edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news

 

 
DISPATCHES FROM VITAFOODS EUROPE 2014

Natural and synthetic astaxanthin are different products, Algatech exec says

By Hank Schultz , 20-May-2014
Last updated on 20-May-2014 at 20:38 GMT2014-05-20T20:38:23Z

Natural and synthetic astaxanthin are different products, Algatech exec says

The natural vs synthetic astaxanthin debate centers on the fact that the products are not strictly analogous. “We are not saying that natural is necessarily better.  We are saying it’s different,” said Efrat Kat, director of marketing and sales for Algatechnologies.

“The name might be the same, but everything else is completely different,” Kat told NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Vitafoods trade show in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Algatech, as the company is also known, is an algae producer based in Israel’s southern desert, and is one of the founding members of NAXA, the Natural Astaxanthin Association.  Kat said the difference in the makeup of the natural vs synthetic ingredients has to do with the different isomers of the molecule present in both forms and in the other components of the final product, which in the case of the natural producers consists primarily of other carotenoids.  “For the synthetic, we don’t know what it is,” Kat said.

Also, the differences in the forms means that in the opinion of the natural producers, any evidence of health benefits applies to their ingredients alone, Kat said. The efficacy studies that have been done up to this point have been done using natural astaxanthin. “This is the most important point for us. We believe the health benefits need to be proved,” she said.

One of the arguments put forward in favor of synthetic production is that the process can be rigidly controlled, yielding a consistent product.  Kat says this argument doesn't apply for Algatech, as they use a closed tube system for their algae cultivation. "We are in a desert environment, using solar radiation, and it is very consistent in different times of the year.  We are cultivating our micro algae in a closed system and we are controlling all the parameters. Everything that goes in and everything that comes out," she said.

Related products

Fibers from food waste offer clean label option

Fibers from food waste offer clean label option

Multifunctional fibers made from fruit and vegetable peals and pulps that would otherwise be...

Tiny plants with huge potential: Introducing LENTEIN Plus and mankai

Tiny plants with huge potential: Introducing two new players to the plant-based protein market

Two firms that generated a lot of buzz at the IFT show this year...

NASA food science: Complete nutrition, emerging technologies, and the Mission to Mars

NASA food science: Complete nutrition, emerging technologies, and the Mission to Mars

NASA is exploring all forms of cutting edge technology, from 3D printing to high...

How does the supplements industry deal with credibility bashing?

How does the supplements industry deal with credibility bashing?

The New York Attorney General’s investigation has led to attacks on the industry by...

U.S. tea sales climb as consumers seek healthy drinks & new flavors

U.S. tea sales climb as consumers seek healthy drinks & new flavors

Sales of tea in the U.S. are growing quickly as more Americans are drawn...

New gut models facilitating microbiome research

New gut models facilitating microbiome research

The understanding of what happens within the human digestive system has always been hampered...

Collaboration among stakeholders needed for probiotics research to move forward, experts say

Collaboration among stakeholders needed for probiotics research to move forward, experts say

The immediate future of the probiotics space is clouded by regulatory uncertainty but is...

Pivotal study on effect of gut microbial makeup on brain activity changed course of researcher's career

Pivotal study on effect of gut microbial makeup on brain activity changed course of researcher's career

The dawn of inexpensive, rapid genetic sequencing has opened up new avenues for explaining...

Can gut microbes affect eating behavior?  It's an intriguing field of research, expert says

Can gut microbes affect eating behavior? It's an intriguing field of research, expert says

Evidence continues to mount that the gut microbiome affects gut health in a number...

Ganeden BC30 boosts performance, recovery in weight lifting test, attendees at event are told

Ganeden BC30 boosts performance, recovery in weight lifting test, attendees at event are told

A study detailed at the Probiota Americas gathering in San Diego showed how supplementation...

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...

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...