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Geneva, Switzerland
2023-05-08

Industrial technologies for production of natural astaxanthin

Industrial  technologies for the production of natural astaxanthin from diverse micro organisms.

The major native producers of natural astaxanthin on industrial scale today are the alga Haematococcus pluvialis the yeast Xanthopyllomyces dendrorhous and the bacteria Paracoccus carotinifaciens. However, the natural production via these native producers is facing challenges and the high cost of product limits  its utilization widely. Most of the pigment today on market is synthetic produced by conglomerate compagnies (DSM, BASF) but used mainly for the aquaculture sector. Two modes of production depending on the micro organisms of choice   are employed  these day to produce this pigment commercially. They depend on source energy required for maintaining the overall metabolism of the cells: via photosynthesis utilizing light and carbon dioxide or heterotrophically consuming sugar.  

Currently natural industrial astaxanthin is obtained mainly from green alga Haematococcus pluvialis and produced in close photobioreactors utilizing either natural light (Algatech) or utilizing continuous artificial light (Algalif, Astareal). The production from fungi and  bacteria is still banded for human consumption and find its way as the synthetic product to the aquaculture sector. The global market demand for natural astaxanthin is rapidly increasing since the late 80’s owing to its safety, the potential health benefits, and the diverse applications in food and pharmaceutical industries. The estimations are production of about 20 tons of pure natural pigment compare to more than 200 tons for the synthetic part. However the public perception that “natural” is better than “artificial” or “synthetic” stimulates the adoption of the natural pigment. So how we can close this gap is the main driving force of most of the Industrial compagnies involved in this sector. In our webinar we plan to discuss these issues bring expert from different fields involved in the industrial production of this wonderful molecule. “It was it is and will be the main lucrative product produced by microalgae“.

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