Key Interview: Algatech Targets Synergistic Effects to Advance Microalgae Industry


27 Jun 2017 --- Interest in microalgae has surged over the past decade, and as a result, a growing number of companies have sought to develop new products and technologies to harness the myriad health benefits these unicellular species provide. And according to Algatechnologies, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of microalgae’s potential benefits and applications. 

“Out of more than 200,000 known species of microalgae, currently only approximately ten species are grown on a commercial scale. So many beneficial nutrients in microalgae are as of yet undiscovered, showing that this industry is really in its early stages,” Efrat Kat, VP Marketing & Sales at Algatechnologies, tells NutritionInsight.

The Israeli company recently expanded its production facilities for the Haematococcus Pluvialis microalgae it uses in the natural astaxanthin products of its AstaPure brand. 

Click to Enlarge“During this expansion, we also dedicated part of our facilities to new product development. Algatech sees itself as a leading microalgae company; we have the know-how and the experience, as well as the right infrastructure and location. There is still a lot of untapped potential, and we want to further develop this industry,” explains Kat.

Following the expansion, the company “recruited an entire team of R&D people, including a head of business development who will focus on new product development. We are expanding our team, but also our presence in the market,” Kat says. “We are looking to recruit more people for our team, and we are also conducting more clinical studies on our astaxanthin and related products.”

Recently, the company announced the opening of a US subsidiary, based in New York, which will accelerate development of the growing market in North America for its microalgae ingredient brand, AstaPure, as well as new microalgae sources in the pipeline. 

Educating Consumers
“We have been selling the AstaPure brand for 15 years now, so we are quite experienced in [producing and researching] natural astaxanthin. The market changed a lot between 2011 and 2015, due to good promotional programs in Japan and the US,” Kat explains. 

However, this surge in demand came with a downside. “Demand was much higher than supply, creating shortages in the market. New companies started to offer astaxanthin, but this was inferior in terms of quality and the supply was unstable, which negatively affected the market.”

“What we are now seeing is that the new comers are phasing out. First of all, growing high-quality microalgae that meets regulatory standards in an efficient way is hard, especially on a commercial scale. Demand is still growing, but we feel more needs to be done to educate the consumer about the health benefits of natural astaxanthin,” Kat notes, adding that the company is investing heavily in research to provide a base to further promote astaxanthin to the public.

Astaxanthin is known to be an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient, which is why it has been studied thoroughly for a range of health benefits, Kat asserts.

“In the US market, it is mainly used for eye health, sports nutrition and general wellbeing, while in Asian countries, such as Japan, it is mainly used for skin and eye health. In Europe, on the other hand, it is used in a variety of products as a single ingredient, but also blended with other active ingredients. This is of particular interest, as we believe astaxanthin has synergistic effects with other active ingredients, so we believe different formulations will provide enhanced health benefits.”

To further develop these synergistic effects, Algatechnologies recently partnered up with Lycored for the distribution of Algatech's AstaPure natural astaxanthin carotenoid in the form of beadlets, increasing the brand's commercial reach for this product range in the North American market.

This timely partnership comes following Lycored's newest patent for “Astaxanthin Anti-Inflammatory Synergistic Combinations,” which acknowledges that the synergistic combination of astaxanthin and tomato-derived lycopene works to suppress inflammation in the body. 

Additionally, Algatech is working with Fuji film company in Japan who created a cosmetic product line based on Algatech’s astaxanthin.

Click to EnlargeJoining Forces
As a founding member of the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA), Algatechnologies has recognized the benefits of working together with similar companies to spread the word on the benefits of natural astaxanthin. It is important to note, however, that NAXA is not a quality certification organization and test the products to verify that the astaxanthin used is derived from Haematococcus Pluvialis only.

“Our idea is to join forces, even with competitors. We all share the same interests; namely increasing consumer awareness about astaxanthin. Higher budgets will also allow us to be more effective.”

“Competition isn’t problematic because it would be hard for us to grow the market on our own. What we are concerned about is competitors that are supplying inferior-quality products.”

According to Kat, Algatech’s core strength lies in the fact that it always sticks to the same strategy: “We believe that supplying 100 percent pure product requires tremendous amounts of knowledge, experience and constant attention to details. And this is what we are planning to continue to do.”

So what is on the cards in terms of an expansion of production capacity? “Algatechnologies is a leading producer of natural astaxanthin, and when we recently expanded our facilities, we made sure to allocate part of the facilities to new product development.”

“The good thing about our production technology is that it isn’t complicated to add more photobioreactors, which we can do gradually. And of course, we have the land. The land is not the limiting resource in the desert,” Kat concludes.

by Lucy Gunn

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Algatechnologies Ltd.


Algatechnologies is a rapidly growing biotechnology company, specializing in the commercial cultivation of microalgae. Founded in 1998, Algatech is a world leader in the production and supply of AstaPure®, a premium natural astaxanthin - one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants sourced from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis. 

Located in Israel's Arava desert – with its stable climate and high light intensity – Algatechnologies is ideally positioned to cultivate algae. The company produces astaxanthin in an innovative process, and markets its AstaPure® brand to the nutrition, food & beverages and cosmetics industries. 

Algatechnologies enjoys a global presence through a well-established marketing network of selected distributors and agents. The company's sales organization serves more than 30 countries, via an extensive network of exclusive distributors and by direct sales to multi-national customers. The company provides logistics, warehousing and lab support services, offering customers reliable supply and prompt response. 

Algatechnologies' objectives are:

To provide the highest quality of natural astaxanthin, backed by experienced technical and marketing support.

To continue developing, producing and commercializing advanced algal-based products to the fastest growing markets by utilizing proprietary algal cultivation and processing technologies. 

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Omega 3 microalgae oil: Polaris launches “next-generation” solution

09 Apr 2018 --- Polaris, French marine lipid expert, has announced its new omega 3 product: Omegavie DHA 650 Qualitysilver5 (highly concentrated & highly performing omega 3 Algal oil).

Nutrition & Health News

Fermentalg DHA range to enter US market under new partnership

03 Apr 2018 --- French microalgae supplier Fermentalg has obtained Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for its algal oils which are “naturally rich in omega 3” and they have signed a distribution agreement with SAUBER for the US and Canada. These steps represent Fermentalg’ success in driving its DHA origins range on the US market.

Nutrition & Health News

Targeting Asia-Pacific market: Algatech increases reach with Supreme Health partnership

03 Apr 2018 --- Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech) has become the major shareholder in Supreme Health, Ltd., New Zealand, to supply China and Asia-Pacific with astaxanthin and other algae-based products. The Asia-Pacific market for such products is valued at several hundred million dollars, and forecast to experience rapid growth. Israeli-based Algatech specializes in the commercial cultivation of microalgae and manufactures natural astaxanthin, marketed in 35 countries under its AstaPure brand.

Nutrition & Health News

"Uneven playing field": Valensa on fighting fraudulent natural products 

29 Mar 2018 --- Products making false health claims are a blight on the food industry, consumers and of course, manufactures. A case in point is the natural product of Saw Palmetto extract, where six suppliers of the natural drug were found to have “little-to-no actual Saw Palmetto extract,” according to scientists at Valensa International. NutritionInsight spoke to Umasudhan, CEO of Valensa, to gain a deeper insight into this issue, and how battling the fakes fits into the company’s ethical, centralized strategy.

Nutrition & Health News

Instant vitamin fix: Instavit launches children’s oral vitamin spray

07 Mar 2018 --- Oral spray provider Instavit has released a range specifically aimed at supporting the nutritional needs of children. The spray format is touted as being easier to stomach for the kids than traditional pills. This product joins an increasingly busy shelf of pill-free supplement delivery systems, such as gummies, gels, beadlets and now, sprays, offering increased convenience to users.

More Articles