Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news


Special edition: The infinite potential of algae

Biofuels aid – not raid – algae’s nutritional payload

By Shane Starling , 23-Jul-2012
Last updated on 24-Jul-2012 at 09:32 GMT2012-07-24T09:32:39Z

Biofuels aid – not raid – algae’s nutritional payload

Algae is well on its way to being a fully blown nutritional powerhouse, but the algae’s elemental abundance means it is also in demand from other sectors like animal feed but most notably, biofuels.

Some are concerned that the biofuel drive will deny algae its nutritional potential, although the moves by some suppliers to link with the biggest oil firms indicates another view – that the two sectors have much to learn from each other.

DSM and Martek Biosciences, the algae-sourced omega-3 specialist it acquired in 2011, is one example.  Martek has been in partnership with oil titan BP for several years and says it has been a valuable learning experience for both companies – with technologies and knowhow being transferred both ways.

The two worked to maximise the omega-3 DHA specialist's microbial know-how and BP’s production and commercialisation experience via fermentation – sharing commercial gains in each other’s sector.

“Biofuels have not not compromised algal's potential in nutrition, if anything, it has helped further that development by offering alternative commercial development opportunities, funding, and R&D in such areas as fermentation, microbial selection, investigation and development,” said Hugh Welsh, president of DSM North America.

BP Biofuels CEO, Philip New, said of the partnership: "In partnering with Martek, we combine the world's leading know-how in microbial lipid production with our expertise in fuels markets and applications, and our more recent experience in biofuels production and commercialisation.”

Market full of promise

Roquette is another firm with a nascent algae business it began building in 2008 and intensified with a partnership with Solazyme that kicked into life last year.

Microalgae represent a market full of promise seeking to realise its potential,” said R&D communication manager Carole Petit Jean.

“Its development in the biofuel and in the nutrition sector are not in opposition. The richness of microalgae enables its development in numerous sectors.”

Roquette is part of ALGOHUB, a European consortium that fosters and builds networks in microalgae’s nutrient potential in areas like omega-3, lutein and astaxanthin for food, food supplement and feed markets. Oil, protein and fibre-based ingredients are also being researched.

Petit Jean: The aim of this network is to explore the potential of microalgae in different areas: Biodiversity, production, extraction and purification of active compounds of interest in nutrition-health, demonstration of their properties etc. but always focused on nutrition-health.”

Like DSM-Martek, she said the company had learnt from the biofuel sector.

The microalgae development in different sectors makes it possible to increase expertise in research and associated technologies. Therefore, the different sectors take advantage of each other’s technological advances.”

While Roquette and DSM-Martek may some of the biggest firms in the sector there many up-and-coming players like Aurora Algae, which is extracting protein-rich powder and EPA-rich omega-3 oils from its Californian algae vats. But its algae is also being used for biofuels.

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars