alltech algae 500Alltech's Algae Research and Production Facility in Winchester, Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (12/18/13) — Once a buzzword in the biofuel industry, algae are gaining attention for their application to the feed and food industries as a highly sustainable source of protein and DHA omega-3 enrichment. As such, Alltech is continuing to expand its algal DHA plant in Winchester, Ky., USA, one of only two plants in the world commercially producing a high-DHA heterotrophic microalgae. The facility, which is capable of producing approximately 15,000 tons of algae, has already been updated since its opening in early 2011.

“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.

Traditionally, DHA omega-3 has been supplied through fish oil, which is dwindling in supply and non-sustainable besides having a taste not favored by 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 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 Ky.-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.”

SurfKY News
Information provided by Susanna Elliott
Photo by Alltech Staff

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14

Most Read This Week

August 31, 2015 6519

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 4935

All is Well after MNHHS Lockdown

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 3858

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2949

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
August 27, 2015 2829

Kentucky Career Center Blood Drive Aug. 31

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 18784

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 11901

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 02, 2015 2949

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
September 01, 2015 1570

Small Business Tax Credit Workshop

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1514

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1412

Traffic Stop Leads to Meth Charge for Driver

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1336

Central City Gospelfest Planned for September 2

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1268

Woman Allegedly Passed Out at Wheel Charged with…

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1142

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1133

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1080

Governor Lauds Launch of Kentucky's New I-Way

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 933

UPDATE: Missing Teen Located

by SurfKY News