[ad name=”PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview”]

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
U.S. farmers and biofuels makers are watching for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rules, which will set t...
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...
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 ...
Using a malaria parasite protein produced from algae, paired with an immune-boosting cocktail suitable for use in humans, researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine g...
Montague, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest has announced that it has used its algal-based production platform to express bioactive therapeutic proteins. The proof of ...
You know algae are a great food source for you. But what are the best ways to eat it? Jami Foss writes in shape.com about 10 ways to eat algae that are common, healthy an...
MicroBio Engineering, Inc. has announced a new line of 100 and 1,000 liter Algae Raceways™, building on the success of their popular 0.5 m2 (5.5 ft2) and 3.5 m2 (40 ft2),...
DENSO Corporation, Toyota Motor Corp.’s largest supplier, has announced that it will build a large test facility to culture Pseudochoricystis ellipsoidea – an oil-produci...
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Arizona State University (ASU) a three-year, $1 million grant to fund the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Capture and Membrane ...
Students of algal research, including it's various applications and business models, have increasing opportunities to get quickly up to speed in many aspects of the rapid...
A $300,000 greenhouse will be constructed, and the Maine Algal Research and Innovation Accelerator (MARIA) will be formed, on the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences' c...
Bioenergy-news.com reports that Volkswagen showcased its algae biogas-powered vehicle at a biogas project based in El Torno Chiclana, a town in south-west Spain. The test...