In a press release issued the same day as Solazyme sent out a release saying that it too would be showcasing "a suite of revolutionary high lipid and high protein products" at IFT, Roquette claimed that it would be the "first player on the market able to answer customer demand in terms of production capacity and commercialization".
Asked how Roquette's algae ingredients - "a high-lipid and a high-protein ingredient" - compared to what the JV Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals (SRN) had previously been marketing as Almagine HL (whole algalin flour) and Almagine HP (whole algalin protein), Fernando Arias, commercial VP, Roquette America, told FoodNavigator-USA:
“Roquette will continue to deliver samples of microalgae-based ingredients produced at its manufacturing facilities; these samples exhibit the basic characteristics and specifications of the initial samples.
“Both are natural-origin, whole ingredients which dramatically improve nutrition and texture in many applications, such as bakery and culinary for the lipid version and dietary supplements and particular nutrition for the protein version.
“These ingredients are supported not only by Roquette’s high-capacity manufacturing facilities but also by a fully dedicated support infrastructure, including product development facilities around the world.”
One of Roquette’s multiple contributions to the JV was its extensive knowledge in product and process development
Asked about what intellectual property rights each of the former partners had retained after the split, Arias added: “Roquette’s policy is and will always be to respect the intellectual property rights of third parties.”
“We can’t speak for Solazyme, but Roquette's patent applications covering these technologies, which were to be licensed to the joint venture, will remain the property of Roquette as Roquette’s proprietary know how in the production of microalgae-based food products.”
He added: “one of Roquette’s multiple contributions to the joint venture was its extensive knowledge in product and process development, engineering, and production and its commercial experience in food and microalgae ingredients.”
Customers are also extremely interested in this incredible source of protein
Both ingredients are being manufactured at Roquette facilities in Lestrem, France, Arias confirmed.
“Roquette will be the first player on the market able to answer customer demand in terms of production capacity and commercialization, according to a clear strategy and supported by its technological and industrial know-how.”
He added: “The food industry is very excited to see this innovative new high-lipid ingredient—with its amazing nutritional, functional, and sensorial properties—become available for its developments.
“Customers are also extremely interested in this incredible source of protein.”
While Solazyme is an algae-specialist, Roquette has positioned itself as the leader in microalgae-based food ingredients since 2008, and is also the program leader of ALGOHUB, a 14-member French consortium devoted to R&D exploring the potential of microalgae in the nutrition and health sector, he added.
Divergent views on an acceptable commercial strategy
In a statement issued last month, Solazyme said that the SRN joint venture – launched in November 2010 – had been terminated due to “divergent views on an acceptable commercial strategy and timeline for the manufacturing and marketing of joint venture products”.
In a call with investors, Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme CEO, said that commercialization of microalgae-based food ingredients would now be “faster than would have been possible with the joint venture”.
He also noted that the company is “very excited about the technology and the rights that will return to Solazyme”.
In a release issued yesterday, Solazyme said it too would be showcasing "innovative microalgae food ingredients" at the IFT show, including "a suite of revolutionary high lipid and high protein products as well as a tailored food oils portfolio".