Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Microalgae : An Untapped Resource for Health and Nutrition

Astaxanthin represents the pinnacle of advanced microalgal biotechnology products for human health. Despite microalgae appearing 3.5 billion years ago, humans have only begun to tap the potential renewable resources from microalgae. For example, a handful of other commercially available algae products include Spirulina, Dunaliella, and Chlorella. These are usually regarded as foods since they are ingested whole whereas Haematococcus pluvialis is a special case. Haematococcus is cultured in special devices in order to obtain the high value added carotenoid called astaxanthin.

Commercial microalgal technology traditionally uses natural lakes or outdoor artificial ponds called open-pond raceways to cultivate large quantities of microalgal product. However, the physiology and complexity of Haematococcus requires a new level of sophistication and environmental process control. Even after harvesting, the technology doesn't stop there because astaxanthin needs be extracted and processed into a form that is optimal in both bioavailability and stability.

The car analogy

In terms of product choices, Astaxanthin is like the car. Even though each brand or model is made of the same plastic and metal raw materials; it is how cars are put together and then tested for performance; reliability; quality and safety. This precedence sets one manufacturer apart from another so in short, not all astaxanthin products are created equally.

AstaREAL® astaxanthin is derived from Haematococcus pluvialis is produced from enclosed mass-culture systems which generate the highest quality, purity and consistency of astaxanthin in the world.

Indoor PhotobioReactor, Gustavsberg, Sweeden

Indoor Photobioreactor - Gustavsberg, Sweden

The lack of Swedish sunlight didn't stop scientists from developing an indoor production system which is loosely based on traditional fermentation cultivation apparatus. Operational since 1994, this system has proven to be robust and delivers high quality biomass containing astaxanthin.