Valensa, Parry launch JV with Indian partner on phycocyanin development

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Parry grows its algal ingredients at a plant in Tamil Nadu, India.
Parry grows its algal ingredients at a plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

Related tags Joint venture Nutrition

Florida-based Valensa International and parent company EID Parry have announced a new joint venture to develop new ingredients and non-GMO certifications on existing algae products.

The joint venture is with Indian flavor, fragrance and food color ingredient producer Synthite Industries. The agreement includes a $6.5 million investment to establish a new plant for the extraction of Parry Organic Spirulina to produce Phycocyanin, which Valensa will be developing for dietary supplements, functional foods, and medical foods.

Synergistic partnership

Both Parry Nutraceuticals and Valensa International are divisions of EID Parry and the $5 billion Murugappa Group, which is based in Chennai, India. Parry Nutraceuticals has been a pioneer in the production of microalgae-based technologies and products since the 1970s, with its organic spirulina as its flagship product. The 50-50 joint venture will leverage Parry’s cultivation strengths and Synthite’s extraction capabilities making it a strategic fit for both the partners. In addition, the companies said there will be a synergistic benefit, with Parry Nutraceuticals and Valensa focusing on the global human nutrition segment while Synthite Industries will focus on food colors and additives segments.

Phycocyanin is a promising color ingredient, as it is one of the few natural sources of the color blue. In addition, the compound has high antioxidant activity, which makes it a promsing dietary ingredient in its own right. Valensa has been developing the ingredient in small way, and debuted a prototype product that featured spirulina pills coated with a hard blue phycocyanin coating at a trade show a few years ago. The new joint venture will provide a platform to more fully develop phycocyanin, as well as develop completely new ingredients, said Muthu Murugappan, business head of Parry Nutraceuticals.

To start with, we will be focusing on extracting Phycocyanin from Spirulina. In due course, we will be looking at other avenues within the microalgae segment thereby building the business to a company with a diversified value-added algae portfolio,​ he said.

Non GMO seal

In addition to the joint venture, Valensa/Parry announced new certifications on existing ingredients. The company has achieved Non GMO Project Verified status on its organic chlorella and organic spirulina product lines. The company said the increasing demand from consumers made getting the certification a priority. The Non-GMO Project claims that sales of products carrying the seal have hit $19.2 billion annually.

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