Algatechnologies expands production capacity

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carotenoid Salmon

Israeli astaxanthin producer Algatechnologies is adding new
production capacity to meet growing demand for the carotenoid,
increasingly recognized for its health properties.

Astaxanthin is a natural red pigment previously produced mainly for feeding to farmed salmon to enhance their colour. But recent studies suggesting that astaxanthin is a more powerful antioxidant than the vitamins C and E, and even other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene, has spurred new sales to supplement makers.

Algatechnologies has developed a cost-effective process to produce the carotenoid from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis​. It has recently secured several long-term agreements with leading companies in the industry.

In an initial phase the company will increase its capacity to a total of 1.4 metric tons of astaxanthin. In a second phase this will be expanded to reach 2-3 metric tons.

"The market is ready to use this exciting carotenoid in several categories," said Ed Hofland, chairman of the firm.

Frost & Sullivan estimates that astaxanthin is now one of the fastest growing carotenoids in Europe. But in early 2004 only 1 ton of astaxanthin was being used for supplements, compared to up to 150 tons for the aquaculture industry.

Since then, Algatechnologies has promoting its product for food and supplement use.

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