Cabio Biotech unleashes fermentation-based sialic acid and DHA for sustainable health boosts
28 Feb 2023 --- As sustainable sourcing continues to be a priority for consumers, customers and suppliers, Cabio Biotech touts the benefits of its algae-derived docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and fermentation-derived sialic acid offerings.
“Sialic acid is an important nutrition ingredient in human health,” Jake Liu, international business director at Cabio Biotech, tells NutritionInsight. “We got this strain several years ago and kept improving it and we now have it produced in a commercial batch.”
Additionally, Liu highlights the sustainability of the company’s DHA, produced from fermented microalgae.
“We make algae-derived DHA, which is more controllable, more economical and more environmentally friendly,” he adds. “This is why we do it and we do it through biotechnology.”
“In the future, we will do a lot of different types of DHA. For example, phospholipid DHA and also DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) combined together.”
Sialic acid for body systems
Liu notes three major bodily systems that can benefit from sialic acid, including the brain, the gut microbiome and the skin.
“For the brain, it’s very important – it’s something like a neurotransmitter and is one of the key ingredients in the neurotransmission process,” Liu explains. “It can help improve the brain and cognition. Especially for the baby, it can improve brain development. Also, some research has been done and some research is still ongoing, but the results show a possibility to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for senior people.”
He also states that sialic has been shown to support healthy gut microbiota and the growth of “good” microbes.
Sustainable and safe
Liu explains that sialic acid is both an important and somewhat hard to get nutrient. In Southeast Asia, one of the most popular ways to consume sialic acid is through edible bird’s nests. Edible bird’s nests are nests created by certain swiftlets that create nests using solidified saliva. They are high in protein and considered to be rich in flavor.
Liu notes that even though bird’s nests are very popular and expensive in some areas, they are relatively unknown in others.
“We got this sialic acid, this major ingredient of bird’s nest from fermentation – from a natural sauce,” he says. “We can control it and the cost is, relatively, much lower than natural bird’s nest. We put it in a tablet and it is convenient, economical and sustainable for the environment.”
Mercury-free skin lightening
Liu further highlights sialic acid’s function as a beauty-from-within, skin-lightening ingredient. Recently, a research group discovered that almost 50% of online retail skin-lightening products (SLPs) contained high levels of mercury.
Additionally, several online retailers and Amazon were called on by watchdog groups to halt the sales of all SLPs after finding that several of them were also found to contain high levels of the toxin. Some markets, such as the state of New York, have banned the sale of any and all products containing the heavy metal.
According to Liu, sialic acid can help lighten the skin and help customers create SLPs with an active ingredient that is both natural and non-toxic.
“It is good for skin and good for skincare,” Liu explains. “It can prevent the synthesis of certain enzymes that participate in the synthesis and the process of producing melanin and helps lighten.
Strengthening the DHA supply chain
According to Liu, many in the food and nutrition industry are concerned about the environment and – following the COVID-19 pandemic – the supply chain and how it can be bolstered to benefit society.
With that in mind, Liu stresses the importance of finding new sources of necessary nutrients like DHA.
“I think that it’s important,” says Liu. “There are two major sources of DHA. One is marine. You get it from the fish or the krill and then it is refined and purified and placed into capsules. The other way to do it is from fermentation.
“Comparing the two sources, we need to give credit to the marine sialic because it provides a lot of fatty acid acids that are very good for your health and very good for your brain,” Liu stresses.
“But this resource is limited. We get it from fish, tuna, krill and all these marine animals and right now, with all the pollution in the ocean and heavy metals, there’s some concern from the consumer side that it’s not safe.”
Liu concludes, noting that Cabio Biotech gets its DHA through the fermentation of natural microalgae that produces DHA-rich oil that can be refined and used in both oil and powder forms.
By William Bradford Nichols
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