Solabia-Algatech launches whole algae β-glucan ingredient

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Solabia-Algatech's new ingredient is aimed at immune health. ©Getty Images - mladenbalinovac
Solabia-Algatech's new ingredient is aimed at immune health. ©Getty Images - mladenbalinovac

Related tags Beta glucan Immune cells immune function Algae

Israeli firm Solabia-Algatech Nutrition has launched a β-glucan ingredient derived from algal fermentation.

The company says its new immune-support ingredient, which is branded as BioGlena, is produced via a ‘proprietary fermentation technology’ via the organism Euglena gracilis​.

E.gracilis​ is a single celled, freshwater algal species.  Like a number of other algal species it can feed photosynthetically or can be cultivated in a fermentation scenario.

Whole algal ingredient

The company says its whole algae ingredient has a high β-glucan content, as well as protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. 

The β-glucan in E. gracilis​ is known as paramylon. The company says E. gracilis​’ naturally occurring content of a β-1,3-glucan is specifically recognized by immune-cell receptors. Solabia-Algatech maintains that preclinical and clinical studies support the positive impact of this microalgae and its β-glucan on multiple aspects of immunity. 

 For example, a 2017 study conducted by Italian researchers​ found that paramylon stimulated human immune system cells better than a commercial product derived from the cell walls of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae​).

The company notes that the β-glucan content of E. gracilis ​depends on growth conditions and medium composition. Solabia-Algatech says its patented process for cultivating E. gracilis​ achieves a consistent concentration of more than 55% β-glucans in the final product. 

Composition advantage

Unlike β-glucan derived from yeast or grains, the paramylon in E. gracilis​ is contained within free floating granules that are part of the cell wall.  In other sources these molecules are strongly bound in polysaccharide matrices within the cell wall structure itself which require the cell walls to be ‘cracked’ via various extraction approaches that can involve heat, pressure or solvents. Solabia-Algatech says its whole algae ingredient has no robust cell wall to crack, leaving the paramylon ‘free’ in the powdered ingredient allowing for easy absorption in the intestine.

“This eliminates the need for harsh extraction procedures to isolate the β-glucans. BioGlena contains the whole algae and no cell wall, allowing the β-glucans to be naturally released in the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. This is a major advantage of E. gracilis over other β-glucan sources, opening the door for BioGlena to become a leading immune-support ingredient,”​ said Doron Safrai, CEO of Solabia-Algatech Nutrition.

“With immunity now a major global health concern, there is a rapidly expanding commercial interest in this unique alga species,” ​he added.

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