New research in to the effects of environmental conditions on the stability of astaxanthin have helped Israeli firm Algatechnologies to increase shelf life to four years at room temperature.
The shelf-life breakthrough comes after more than four years of real-time stability studies carried out by Algatech, including a comprehensive series of experiments on the concentration of natural astaxanthin in its AstaPure products. These tests studied the influence of air, heat and light, as well as various combinations of these parameters and over extended periods of time, said Algatech.
“In light of the impressive results of the studies, we are able to extend AstaPure’s shelf-life at room temperature with complete confidence, providing that the packages remain sealed in their original containers,” explained Oran Ayalon, PhD. , director for R&D at Algatech. “In order to make sure the temperature is controlled and to further extend the shelf life, it is recommended to store the product in refrigerated conditions.”
Researchers at Algatech spent several years testing how different environmental conditions affected the stability of astaxanthin. The team used three different batches of Algatech's AstaPure product - exposing them to a variety of conditions, including:
A- Sealed in their original packaging and refrigerated (4OC)
B- Sealed in their original packaging at room temperature (25OC)
C- Exposed to Air in the dark (protected from light) and refrigerated (4OC)
D- Exposed to Air in the dark (protected from light) at room temperature (25O)
E- Exposed to light but sealed (protected from air) at room temperature (25OC)
F- Exposed to light and air at room temperature (25OC)
Astaxanthin concentrations were measured at the beginning of the experiments and at various time points afterwards, using Algatech’s standard UV/VIS methods, explained Ayalon. In addition, astaxanthin purity was analyzed using Algatech’s standard reverse-phase HPLC method, he said, noting that using the HPLC method means that any impurity and/or breakdown product can be detected.
The average astaxanthin concentration was found to remain the same for 4 years while the product is sealed in its original container, said Ayalon.
"Moreover, there was no statistically significant difference in astaxanthin concentrations between samples, which were kept refrigerated and those kept at room temperature."
Algatech also found that the key factor affecting astaxanthin stability is air (or oxygen), said the R&D director.
"If the product is kept in an oxygen-free environment it remains stable even if exposed to sun-light or heat," he commented.