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
Oregon State University researchers are combining diatoms, a type of single-celled photosynthetic algae, with nanoparticles to create a sensor capable of detecting minisc...
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...
Arizona is taking advantage of its open land and ample sunshine to assume a leadership position in the algae biofuel field. The state is home to two national algae testbe...
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...
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
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...
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...
Green Star Products, Inc. (GSPI) has signed a contract to build a demonstration facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, to produce commercial quality algae. The Hybrid Algae Produ...
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 ...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol, and India's Reliance Industries Ltd., have deployed India’s first Algenol algae production platform. The demonstration module is located nea...
Caroline Scott-Thomas reports on Food Navigator about an online algae discussion on the social media site Reddit where Mars' chief agricultural officer Howard-Yana Shapir...
Developing renewable fuel from wet algae is one of the latest innovations Richland, Washington-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has successfully driven ...
Kevin Valine at the Modesto Bee writes that the California city of Modesto may sell the algae that grows in its roughly 1,000 acres of sewer ponds at its Jennings Road wa...