Following its first industrial-scale algae harvest at its new West Texas algae facility and subsequent omega-3 oil production, officials at Qualitas Health report that crop yields and product quality are exceeding expectations.
“We are pleased that our first significant algae harvest and production of omega-3 oil has met the highest standards of consistency, quality and purity,” said Dr. Isaac Berzin, founder and chief technology officer at Qualitas Health. “The success of our multi-disciplinary team validates our selection of West Texas for our facility, where conditions are ideal for large-scale algaculture and high quality algae-based products.”
The milestone underscores Qualitas Health’s continued progress toward robust cultivation of microalgae, expected to reach commercial scale by the end of 2013. Also expected at this time is the company’s NDI (new dietary ingredient) regulatory filing on its flagship product, an EPA-rich polar lipid-structured omega-3.
Qualitas Health has already successfully completed several integrated, long-term pilot studies in Israel and the US validating its technology. Last fall, the company successfully completed a 12-month pilot algae growth project in the north of Israel, optimizing its process parameters and sustainability protocols while maintaining high omega-3 yields.
Located southwest of Midland-Odessa, Texas, Qualitas’ 350-acre farm uses resources efficiently, with a minimal environmental footprint. A natural strain of green microalgae is grown outdoors in open, brackish-water ponds, using sunlight and carbon dioxide from local emitters. The process is fresh-water neutral, where harvest occurs daily, with output water recycled back into farm operations.
Oil is extracted onsite under license from Valicor Renewables, whose patented wet-extraction technology preserves the omega-3 molecules’ polar lipid structure. This cutting-edge process uses less energy than conventional dry methods, and the resulting product has been clinically proven to enhance omega-3 bioavailability.
“Our West Texas location offers large tracts of non-arable land, a virtually unlimited source of non-drinkable, brackish water and predictable climate,” said Yuri Shoshan, Qualitas Health’s CEO. “This is a perfect combination that adds up to efficient, sustainable and high quality algae production. Additionally, the facility utilizes a modular design that makes production easily scalable, with the potential for nearly unlimited expansion to meet the growing demand for sustainably sourced omega-3 products.”
The Qualitas Health team is highly experienced in algae cultivation, having designed, built and operated integrated commercial algae farms for more than a decade. The team’s founder and chief technology Officer, Dr. Isaac Berzin, is a renowned pioneer in algae-based products, and has deep experience in the development of large-scale algae cultivation systems.