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Research doubles shelf-life of microalgae antioxidant

By Mike Stones , 10-May-2010

Hawaiian microalgae specialist Cyanotech claims the new antioxidant system for its dietary supplement BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin enhances stability, doubles its shelf-life and may prolong the storage capability of its customers’ final products.

Improved shelf-life results from the use of tocopherol organic compounds during the harvesting and processing of the BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin oleoresin products.

An antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, the product can address a number of health conditions including joint health, cardiovascular health, eye health and skin health, according to Cyanotech. It is also said to have benefits for athletes in areas such as recovery from exercise and increasing energy levels.

Gerald Cysewski, the company’s chief scientific officer and founder, told NutraIngredients.com: “The new antioxidant system for BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin is a unique blend of naturally occurring tocopherols. Astaxanthin is the most powerful natural antioxidant known; as such, Astaxanthin is very susceptible to oxidation. The specific blend of natural tocopherols work synergistically with natural astaxanthin to protect BioAstin from oxidation.”

Five years shelf-life

The company now guarantees two years stability of its oleoresin, and up to an additional three years stability of the finished products. That allows for up to five years of shelf-life from the creation of the raw material until use by the end consumer.

The company plans to study the durability of its customers’ products with stability testing conducted on a case-by-case basis later this year.

BioAstin is targeted mainly at the joint health market, which is valued in the billions of dollars per year worldwide. “Many of our customers market BioAstin for its other benefits such as skin health, eye heath, cardiovascular health and for athletes,” said Cysewski. “While the market for internal skin products is still new, the other markets in which BioAstin is sold are all well developed and quite large.”

Natural Astaxanthin can have up to 550 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E and 10 times the antioxidant activity of beta-carotene, according to the company. It also surpasses many of the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C, it claims

Oxidative stress

BioAstin's health benefits are said to derive from its superior antioxidant activity and from its ability to fight free radical damage and combat ongoing oxidative stress, supporting skin, muscle and joint health.

The product specification now includes the addition of mixed naturally-sourced tocopherols which may necessitate a label change for finished products depending on the countries in which products are marketed.

Distribution of the longer shelf-life product will begin this Fall and its price will remain unchanged.

BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin is produced from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis which is cultured by Cyanotech on Hawaii’s Kona Coast.

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