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Efficient & Sustainable Method for Algae-based Carotenoid
Carotenoids: yellow, orange and red carotenoids are valued not just for their esthetics but also for their antioxidant properties and preventive roles in human health and diseases. Lutein, for example, is well known for preventing age-related eye diseases. As humans do not synthesize carotenoids, we need to include these carotenoids in our diet and lifestyle regimes. Carotenoids used commercially today are either synthetic or natural but may not be obtained in a sustainable way.
A clean-tech start-up in Japan is currently growing carotenoid-rich algae biomass in a sustainable cultivation platform. This can be used in supplements, cosmetics, food and as natural pigment alternatives. One of the big industries for carotenoids is animal feeds due to the demand of their color and health benefits that can help improve product quality.
The start-up is seeking partners who would be interested in joint R&D collaboration by applying the company’s technology in order to develop a novel product or solution, or partners who would be interested in licensing-in company’s technology.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
Focusing on the functionality of algaes, this start-up has successfully screened certain algae species. Together with a sustainable cultivation method, the start-up’s algae strains achieve higher productivities that can potentially surpass other carotenoid sources. Using this approach, the partner can obtain either carotenoid-rich biomass or carotenoid extract, depending on the preference or requirement.
Aside from being 100% naturally-sourced from algae, this start-up’s in-house carotenoids show stability and usability that can rival synthetically produced carotenoids.
The market size for carotenoids is valued at USD 1.3B in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 1.7B in 2025. The projected growth is heavily influenced by growing consumer awareness of naturally sourced products.
Potential applications include (but are not limited to):
- Animal Feed (nutrition, color, product quality)
- Dietary Supplements (i.e., eye health, antioxidants, anti-stress)
- Foods (nutritional benefit; food coloring)
- Natural Pigments
- Cost-efficient development using algae
- Do not compete for land use
- Grows faster than conventional plants
- CO2 mitigation by algae which can lessen environmental burden