Astaxanthin taken to a new level by DSM

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Salmon Dsm

A new carotenoid from DSM is making a "generational step" for the
powerful antioxidant, the company said this morning.

The company said Carophyll makes use of an improved structure to protect the astaxanthin molecule, allowing it to be added as an animal feed and stored for longer. DSM has ruled out taking Carophyll onto the human dietary supplement market, a spokesperson told that there is no aim to do so "for now."​ However, it sends a clear industry signal that big companies are now becoming involved in the growing market for astaxanthin. They have branded it as a "second generation" astaxanthin, which is used to five salmon and trout their pink colour. The benefits of astaxanthin in humans are said to be numerous, and include enhancing eye health, improving muscle strength and endurance and protecting the skin from premature ageing, inflammation and UVA damage. It has also been suggested that astaxanthin has a free radical fighting capacity worth 500 times that of vitamin E. DSM said that the major concern for its customers is the stability of the astaxanthin during the processing and storage of feed products, in which it is incorporated. However, it said that Carophyll Stay-Pink addresses this issue with a "unique approach" which has led to diminished losses during processing and storage. The firm is using astaxanthin dimethyldisuccinate which is sensitive to oxidation, light and temperature. Exactly how the astaxanthin has been protected is not clear at the time of publication. A company spokesperson said: "Close consultation with customers made it clear that a significant innovation with this carotenoid was necessary to meet the market needs. Market pre-testing has resulted in very enthusiastic customers who recognize the product's potential to help address their needs for a more stable high quality product."​ DSM is in the process of having Carophyll registered in the EU as a feed additive. In its application DSM said the shelf life of Carophyll can be up to 36 months. This summer Israeli firm Algatechnologies stepped closer to expand its AstaPure astaxanthin further into Europe, with the ambition to market the algal extract as an ingredient to food supplement manufacturers. The world carotenoid market is expected to reach €0.77bn ($1.06bn) by 2010 as consumers continue to look for natural ingredients, a report by Global Industry Analysts predicted in July. It said that the world astaxanthin market stands poised to reach €159m ($219m) in the next three years.

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