The US expansion aims to accelerate the company’s North American business for its microalgae ingredient brand, AstaPure, as well as new microalgae sources in the pipeline. Algatech Inc.’s responsibilities will include the US, Canada and Mexico.
“I’m excited to join the team at Algatech and help them better serve the North American market with our new organic and non-GMO ingredients,” said Ken Seguine, who previously served as VP Sales and Marketing of UAS Laboratories 2013-2017, and was Executive VP consumer products at Savesta Life Sciences Inc.
“Algatech specializes in the development and production of ingredients derived from algae. I am looking forward to contributing my background in organic agriculture, cosmetics and dietary supplements to the company’s activities.”
The company made its name with high quality astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae grown in a labyrinthine network of glass tubes in Eilat in Southern Israel. The tubes enable the company to precisely control the process, eliminate contaminants and produce high purity, nutrient-packed astaxanthin in an ultra-efficient way.
The algae - which starts out green - is fed CO2 and nutrients, but turns red (which means it's producing astaxanthin) as a stress response to the sunshine. It's then harvested and used primarily in the dietary supplements market.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Vitafoods show in Switzerland, Efrat Kat, director of marketing and sales, said the company is targeting a Q3 launch for a new algae-derived ingredient, with more launches to follow in 2018.
Kat said Algatech is currently working on five different microalgae, with development for each at different stages.
“Our strategy is to develop a wide range of microalgae products,” said Kat. “We believe we are the experts in microalgae: Our most important value is that we are the best quality algae on the market. We invest in the right equipment, and we’re always going to use state-of-the-art technology.”
The company is the only pure algae player participating in a pan-EU sustainable food project involving 50 partners from 13 countries that will see the partners invest close to €1.2bn over seven years. Other industry partners include Puratos, Roquette, Döhler, DSM, PepsiCo and Nestlé’s research arm Nestec.
Created in 2008, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an EU initiative designed to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. Within the seven-year timeframe, EIT Food aims to develop 290 new or improved products, services and processes. Algatech will work within EIT Food to develop new food sources from microalgae.
Gary Brenner, who was responsible for Algatech’s business development in the NAFTA markets since 2010, will lead the algal protein development project as part of the EIT consortium.
“We are committed to expanding our global marketing network and strengthening our presence in the NAFTA markets,” said Algatech CEO Hagai Stadler. “This includes highly qualified personnel recruitment, new product developments, and growing Algatech’s operation facilities in the Arava desert, Israel.”