Israel-based algae firm Qualitas Health says it is on track to produce commercial quantities of EPA-rich algal omega-3 following its first industrial-scale harvest in the USA.
Qualitas said that the first harvest at its new US-based algae facility in West Texas has brought a crop yield and quality that is 'exceeding expectations'.
“We are pleased that our first significant algae harvest and production of omega-3 oil has met the highest standards of consistency, quality and purity,” said Dr. Isaac Berzin, founder and chief technology officer at Qualitas Health.
Berzin was one of the first algae entrepreneurs, having previously worked with MIT, NASA and having been named in the Time 100 most influential people in 2008 for his work in biofuels.
Since then he has moved away from biofuels, to explore the nutritional properties of algae and the potential to create nutritional supplements and ingredients from algal oil.
David Hart, VP marketing for Qualitas said that the commercial oil ingredient being produced by the firm – known as EicoOil – is a premium omega-3 ingredient rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and polar lipids, “which gives the algal oil a similar make up to krill oil.”
“All of the omega-3 in EicoOil is EPA. We have set the bar at about 25-30% omega-3 in the oil, of which almost 100% is EPA with no DHA.”
"Our algae makes EPA - not because we made it do so, just because that's what it makes," said Hart – adding that the phospholipid make-up of the algal oil gives a chemical make-up more like krill oil than fish oil.