Valensa International and Texasta Inc. have announced a multiyear agreement between the two companies for the supply of commercial quantities of Haematococcus pluvialis algae biomass used for the production of high quality astaxanthin. The new supply of the raw materials for its supercritical CO2 extraction facility will support Valensa’s continuing drive to develop and market condition-specific formulated nutraceutical products that take advantage of astaxanthin’s potent properties in supporting human health. The agreement with Valensa is Texasta’s first major commitment with an astaxanthin manufacturer/marketer and represents an important channel to market due to Valensa’s experience in manufacturing, and formulation development for the astaxanthin products industry.
According to Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, president and CEO of Valensa, the emergence of new supplies of algae-based biomass for astaxanthin production is overdue. “Haematococcus pluvialis, as algae, is extraordinarily difficult to grow successfully while maintaining the product quality and consistency that is required for high quality astaxanthin-based formulations. In the last few years, the growth of the market for astaxanthin and revolutionary products that incorporate it as a part of a formulation has been dampened by uncertainty on the raw materials side and a lack of knowledge of what types of natural stabilizers were required for high quality extraction,” he said. “As a company, Texasta has the technical savvy and has made the commitment and the investment to be a player in this space. We’re very happy to have them join us in making astaxanthin a household word and an important part of consumer’s toolbox for health,” he added.
Born in the USA
The algae that forms the basis for astaxanthin, Haematococcus pluvialis, is found throughout natural ecosystems, but is also native to East Texas and thriving in the East Texas climate due to ample sunlight, warm temperatures and adequate rainfall. Texasta will be producing an all-natural, Kosher-certified algae based on a microalgae process that includes closed photo bioreactors and open raceways. The production facility is located on seven acres and employees twenty people. Much of the algae used in the production of astaxanthin have, historically, been produced outside the continental United States. Valensa will be the only company in the astaxanthin business with domestically grown algae and US-based extraction. The certified organic extraction facility operated by Valensa is located in Florida and does not extract shellfish or other known allergens.
Ron Erd, president of Texasta, said “We are excited to be working in close cooperation with Valensa to support their existing and new product portfolio—particularly considering their market acceptance, patent portfolio and regulatory standing around the world. Valensa brings a wealth of technical experience and marketing expertise in dietary supplements and nutritional products.”