Company president Charles DePrince revealed that the company plans to introduce extensions to its product lines, and that the name change is central to its efforts to build brand equity.
"Adopting one name unifies our message to distributors, retailers, and consumers," he said.
The company, a subsidiary of Japan's Fuji Chemical Industry Co, came into being in 2004 and currently markets two oral astaxanthin products in the AstaVita line: AstaReal from Haematococcus pluvialis and Ultra-Pure AstaReal.
Fuji acquired AstaReal in 2003, when it merged with Swedish firm BioProcess. Its astaxanthin is grown in a BioDome environment in Maui, Hawaii, and photobioreactors in Gustavsberg, Sweden, which it says protect it from pollutants that can tarnish algae produced by the cheaper, open-pond system.
Thanks to the controlled light, temperature and water of the BioDomes, Fuji boasts an exceedingly high astaxanthin yield.
"Our algae regularly attain a level of 5-6 percent astaxanthin - double that achieved with the traditional open-pond system," it said.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid antioxidant that forms to protect microalgae against UV radiation when the water pools in which they thrive dry out. This in-built protection mechanism allows the microalgae to survive in the harshest conditions.
Recent scientific studies have shown that orally administered astaxanthin may help protect human skin from sun damage too, and that its powerful free-radical scavenging ability could deliver benefits for those affected by of oxidative stress, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, eye health, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, immune response.
In AstaReal it is combined with lutein, beta carotene, canthaxanthin, and other carotenoids.
A report published last week by Business Communications Company predicted that supplement use of carotenoids will increase over the next five years. Astaxanthin is one of the most prevalent commercially-used carotenoids with a value of $234 million in 2004, but its success is largely attributed to its use as a pigment for salmon and trout.