“It’s the only microalgae that can produce phycocyanin by fermentation,” said Marie Jane Fallourd, marketing and product management director at Fermentalg. “The productivity is higher, and fermentation has multiple benefits, including a gentle process free of solvents and external contaminants, consistent and reproducible quality, supply chain reliability and high microbiological standards.”
Fermentalg obtained its phycocyanin from Galdieria sulphuraria, a red microalgae found in hot springs that can withstand extreme heat and acidic conditions. With that in mind, Blue Origins does not need to be “protected” when the supplement reaches the high acidity of the stomach and is more active after digestion, Fallourd said.
Blue Origins is pending US Food and Drug Administration authorization.
A range of benefits
Blue Origins, which is available in liquid and powder form, has multiple health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the company.
One internal, in vitro study commissioned by Fermentalg, Blue Origins releases its antioxidant power after being digested by gastric and gut enzymes. When assessed by ABTS, DPPH and ORAC tests, the antioxidant capacity of the supplement is tenfold higher in the intestine than before digestion, according to the study. NutraIngredients-USA did not see the full data.
Additionally, the internal report noted that Blue Origins has shown significant radical scavenging activity by reducing the level of ROS, or radical oxygen species, in serum by 35% after six weeks.
The accumulation of ROS may irreversibly damage the main constituents of cells, such as proteins, lipid membrane and DNA and trigger cell death at the origin of many health disorders. Antioxidant defenses such as antioxidant enzymes can manage the production of ROS but are sometimes overwhelmed and may need external support with antioxidant active ingredients.
The high antioxidant potential of Blue Origins is supported by pre-clinical and clinical studies demonstrating the effects on different mechanisms of action. Results showed that Blue Origins is more efficient than other sources of well-known natural antioxidants, the company said.
When it comes to pro-inflammatory markers, after 6 weeks of supplementation, participants showed a significant decrease on plasmatic levels of TNF-α and IL-8 markers, respectively by 34% and 90%.
A history of microalgae
Fermentalg has a long history of microalgae research. For more than a decade, it has built a bank of over 2,000 algal strains to understand biodiversity and ecosystems. These microalgae have been purified and cryopreserved to maintain all their original benefits and represent a rich resource for current and future nutritional or food ingredients, the company said. Fermentalg applies the centuries-old technique of fermentation to its microalgae, a closed fermentation production process that minimizes the need for essential resources such as water and energy.
Where extraction is required to isolate specific health compounds, Fermentalg does so without resorting to organic solvents, keeping the product as natural and as close to its origins as possible, the company said. The whole process from strain bank to product is closely monitored to ensure a pure, consistent and sustainable supply as well as full traceability to food and supplement manufacturers.