Algal Biotechnology news

Cawthron scientist Mike Packer in Supreme Biotech's algae room
13 January 2013

A Supreme partnership

When nutraceuticals company Supreme Biotech wanted to develop systems to grow and extract a high value algae compound – Astaxanthin – on a commercial scale for the global market they turned to Cawthron Institute.

Cawthron's science and ability to adapt marine technology to the production of a highly complex freshwater algae, matched with Supreme's engineering and commercial expertise, led to the successful establishment of a pilot scale facility and ultimately an Astaxanthin export market.

Supreme Biotech is a private Nelson-based company producing bioactive compounds from microalgae.

The company's Chief Executive, Tony Dowd, says "we developed the company in Nelson, largely because of the support and expertise available at the Cawthron Institute and the Nutrizeal extraction plant near Richmond".

Supreme Biotech's 'plant' has large plastic tubes hang from the ceiling, filled with algae to produce astaxanthin - an extract said to be nature's most powerful antioxidant and used for a range of skin, muscle, eye and joint benefit as well as, and this is what Supreme is focussing on, potential to help heart problems.

Cawthron Institute helped the company develop two prototypes, isolating a unique strain of algae, Haematococcus pluvialis, to produce high-quality astaxanthin, suitable for Supreme's purposes.

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