Astaxanthin firms BGG, Solix join forces on new, Colorado-based company

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

BGG grows its Haematococcus pluvias algae--the raw material source for astaxanthin--in Yunnan Province in China.  BGG photo
BGG grows its Haematococcus pluvias algae--the raw material source for astaxanthin--in Yunnan Province in China. BGG photo

Related tags Astaxanthin Algae

Two players in the astaxanthin realm, Chinese company BGG and US firm Solix Algredients, will combine to form a new ingredient supplier based in Colorado.

BGG has supplied a variety of botanical ingredients but is mostly known for its algae production facility based in Yunnan Province. The company recently joined the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA).

Solix Algredients started up in Fort Collins, home of Colorado State University. CSU has acted as a technology and research support for the nascent company. The new joint extraction company will also be based in the northern Colorado city.

The new company's portfolio of natural extract ingredients originates from three sectors: Algae, fruits and plants. The portfolio, which the partners said features patented technologies, includes natural astaxanthin, DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E tocotrienols, apple polyphenols and fruit/berry extracts.

Production scale CO2 facility planned

The new company consolidates BGG, Algae Health Sciences (BGG’s astaxanthin marketing arm) and Solix Algredients into one business with global operating responsibility. The company says the next step is to build a production scale supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction facility in Colorado for natural astaxanthin and other products.

“When I founded BGG, my goal was to make it easier for consumers to manage their personal health and wellness,"​ said Chunhua Li, who will be co-chairman of the new company. "I am thrilled that our new company strengthens our leadership role in natural antioxidants while expanding our capabilities into new markets and applications."

Charlie Bowman, previously chief commercial officer of Solix Algredients, will assume the role of managing director for the new company. Bowman has expertise in biotechnology, microalgae and hydrocolloids from prior leadership roles at CP Kelco, Solazyme, and Cargill.

"Our portfolio of natural extracts and functional ingredients is well-aligned with current and emerging consumer demand. We are strongly positioned to support our global customers' business and marketing strategies, and are excited to work together,"​ Bowman said.

Expertise from biofuels, sweeteners

Austin Maguire, former Solix Algredients CEO who will be co chairman of the new company, said setting the quality bar at a high level has been part of Solix’s original corporate DNA. Solix grew out of a previous biofuels venture, which, like so many others, was undercut by the fracking revolution and foundered on the rocks of low fuel prices.

But the expertise that was garnered in that venture, which included a now-shelved algae cultivation technology, was put to good use in putting together a team for algal nutraceuticals. That included an astaxanthin product as well as an algal DHA offering.

“We decided early on that we were going to have a very high quality product,”​ Maguire told NutraInrgedients-USA in a past interview​. “I ran the Splenda sweetener business ​(Macquire worked for Tate & Lyle for 16 years) which was an FDA-approved food additive. So I’m very used to working in an FDA GMP-approved quality system.”

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