Health & Nutrition

Alltech expands DHA algae division

December 22, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Alltech Algae’s facility in Winchester, Kentucky is one of only two plants in the world commercially producing a high-DHA heterotrophic microalgae.

Alltech Algae’s facility in Winchester, Kentucky is one of only two plants in the world commercially producing a high-DHA heterotrophic microalgae.

Alltech, the animal feed giant headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, is continuing to expand its 15,000 ton/yr. algal DHA plant in Winchester, KY, one of only two plants in the world commercially producing a high-DHA heterotrophic microalgae. “Even with this growth, we will have the need for continued expansion globally because a commercially available source of algal DHA benefits the entire food chain, including human health with DHA as an essential omega-3 fatty acid,” said Becky Timmons, global technical director of Alltech Algae.

Although most commercial algae production is done using an autotrophic method that requires open, outdoor waterways, the heterotrophic method used by Alltech utilizes indoor fermenters. The closed-system nature of the heterotrophic growth method provides high levels of sterility and process control, which produce a purer and more consistent algae product. Several studies have also indicated that the omega-3 fatty acid content of algae can be two-three times higher when produced through the heterotrophic method.

In humans, the nutritional importance of DHA omega-3 is linked to brain and eye development as well as the reduction of coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. There is also believed to be a link between sufficient dietary DHA omega-3 intake and depression in the population, which, in the United Kingdom, for example, costs the health industry £80 billion – more than cardiovascular disease and cancer combined.

When used in animal diets, DHA omega-3 from algae can increase immunity, fertility and overall health. Benefits to the farmer or producer include its availability and sustainability as well as the branding opportunities it provides as a value-added product in the marketplace.

Algae fermentation tanks at Alltech’s Kentucky facility

Algae fermentation tanks at Alltech’s Kentucky facility

Traditionally, DHA omega-3 has been supplied through fish oil, which is dwindling in supply and is non-sustainable, besides having an unpleasant taste to many consumers. DHA omega-3 produced through algae is a viable alternative to fish oil that can be quickly produced commercially with limited land use and has no detectable “fishy” taste in the functional foods sold to consumers.

“The response of the food industry to commercially available algal DHA has been very positive,” said Steve Bourne, global director of Alltech Algae. “It is seen as a form of natural enrichment with additional benefits, such as improving the visual and sensory experience of food, thereby offering food producers additional means to market to and please the consumer.”

In particular, Alltech is examining algae applications within aquaculture. A global survey of feed producers in 134 countries, carried out by Alltech, found that aquaculture feed production rose 17 percent in 2012, making it the fastest-growing species sector. Survey information also suggested that aquaculture feed may account for 10 percent of global feed tonnage in the next few years. As such, a primary focus of the research occurring within Alltech’s Kentucky-based aquaculture research facility is the replacement of fish oil in aquaculture feeding programs and the enrichment of fillets with high DHA omega-3.

“As we look ahead, we see algae as fundamental to Alltech’s future growth. The bottom line is that algae improve returns for the farmer with better environmental sustainability, while also creating a healthier population of both humans and animals,” said Bourne. “We will be increasing our investment in this division of Alltech and furthering our algae production footprint throughout the world to meet the demand for a sustainable source of DHA Omega-3.”

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2014 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Chase Ezell writes in Earth911.com about the irony of Algenol’s biggest friction source on the way to marketing their carbon reducing algal-based ethanol being — the EPA ...
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...
Biplab Das reports in NatureAsia.com that a research team has found aqueous extracts of the marine brown algae Lobophoro variegate that can inhibit the replication of hum...
Analia Murias 
reports for fis.com that Chilean exports of products made from macroalgae generated a total of $195 million US in the first seven months of 2014, according...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
With their new CO₂ processing-platform called AstaCos, AlgaeBiotech can produce waxy particles of only 50-100 µm in size with a loading of 25% astaxanthin oleoresin. The ...
Algix, parent company of Solaplast, will be inaugurating their algae-to-plastic facility in Meridian, Mississippi, on November 14, 2014. Solaplast's facility will be focu...
Renewable fuels company Muradel has launched Australia’s first integrated demonstration plant to sustainably convert algae into green crude, as a first step towards a com...
On September 25, 2014, a photobioreactor for the cultivation of algae was officially unveiled during a seminar at Thomas More University College in Mechelen, Belgium. Und...
Iran-based Qeshm Microalgae Biorefinery Co. (QMAB) has launched a biofuel being marketed as BAYA®, produced from a species of Nannochloropsis (strain 6016) isolated from ...
Most Americans get plenty of protein, primarily from animal products including meat, eggs and milk. But for many, ensuring a healthy protein intake can be challenging. In...
Western Morning News reports that Westcountry scientists in the U.K. are using algae to develop an innovative new method of cleaning up contaminated mine water while harv...
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae because of their color, have endured for more than 2.5 billion years, providing ample time to adapt to changes in the Earth'...
Tess Riley writes in TheGuardian.com about how spirulina may be able to combat malnutrition in developing countries. Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, c...
Kevin Quon writes in Seeking Alpha about the financial plights and pivots of Solazyme, the algae industry’s most high profile recent IPO. In a year that started with a sh...
Much of the development of the algae industry in 2014 was driven by domestic and international alliances, partnerships, and mergers that brought complementary skills and ...
In an age where customer input is as easy as a click, OriginOil has tapped directly into its intended market to R&D their next generation algae harvester -- with a de...
Designboom.com is showcasing the “Spirulina Fountain” designed by bureau A. The installation constitutes a hybrid, fusing the production basins of the intense blue-green ...