Astaxanthin in APAC: Israeli biotech firm invests in Kiwi manufacturer to boost regional sales

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Supreme Health has been cultivating a unique strain of the microalgae Haematococcus pluvalis, found exclusively in New Zealand's Nelson Lakes.
Supreme Health has been cultivating a unique strain of the microalgae Haematococcus pluvalis, found exclusively in New Zealand's Nelson Lakes.
Israeli biotechnology firm Algatechnologies (Algatech) is now the major shareholder in Kiwi astaxanthin manufacturer Supreme Health, with both companies sharing the goal of expanding further in China, as well as the wider Asia Pacific market.

Supreme Health hopes to make use of Algatech's "innovative science and technological expertise​" in the commercial cultivation of microalgae to help to maximise the potential of its natural astaxanthin.

The Chinese connection

Supreme Health currently exports to New Zealand, Australia and China, and aims to market microalgae ingredients and astaxanthin-based products to the food, dietary supplement and cosmetic industries throughout the entire APAC region, with its main focus on China.

CEO Kerry Paul told NutraIngredients-Asia​: "We are confident Algatech has the best commercial technology for producing large quantities of astaxanthin in optimal conditions.

"We plan to establish a stronger position in China, and while we already have a presence there, we are looking for partners to help us distribute our products through even more channels."

Algatech CEO Hagai Stadler said, "Cooperating with Supreme Health is in line with our core strategy to strengthen our microalgae-derived product range, and Supreme's well-established marketing channels will support us in expanding our global presence, especially in China.

"China is an important market not only because of the population size and increasing standards of living, but also because of the unmet demands for high-quality natural astaxanthin and other microalgae products from trusted suppliers."

Paul added that Supreme Health was currently exporting to Hong Kong as well, with intentions to enter the South Korean and South East Asian markets.

Presently, the APAC market for astaxanthin and other algae-based products is worth several hundred million dollars, and is expected to grow exponentially.

Algae for ageing?

Considering the ageing populations in many APAC countries, Paul sees an even greater opportunity for astaxanthin in the region.

He said, "Astaxanthin as a product is still relatively new, but demand is growing steadily.

"It is great for slowing down the ageing process, and supporting endurance and stamina for all age groups. It can also help improve skin health, both via consumption and topical application.

"While younger Chinese people are more focused on skincare and sun protection, those who are older are very interested in healthy ageing and maintaining good vision."

Natural specialists

Both Algatech and Supreme Health specialise in manufacturing natural astaxanthin. The former exports to 35 countries under its AstaPure brand, while the latter produces a range of astaxanthin supplements for a variety of health applications, including cardiac health, vision care, and immune support.

Supreme Health has been cultivating a unique strain of the microalgae Haematococcus pluvalis​, found exclusively in New Zealand's Nelson Lakes, to produce natural astaxanthin for its range of supplements.

AstaPure, on the other hand, is produced in Israel's Arava desert, between the Red Sea and Dead Sea, where the climate makes for an ideal location to grow algae.

The firm's patented closed system is said to eliminate all exposure to microbiological contamination or heavy metals, using only food-grade equipment and controlled manufacturing processes that to comply with international safety and quality standards.

Stadler said, "One of the best-known characteristics of algae is that it absorbs everything from the medium in which it is grown. Therefore, the conditions, technology and purity of the medium and equipment are extremely important in determining the quality of the end product.

"Both Algatech and Supreme Health offer consistent premium quality that adhere to strict quality assurance certifications."

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Healthy Ageing APAC Summit 2018: Our next event will assess how the food and nutrition industry can meet the needs of APAC's rapidly-ageing populations of today and tomorrow. The event, in Singapore on 12 and 13 June, will bring together policymakers, academics and industry experts from the likes of Nestlé, Blackmores, Swisse and Japanese 'engay' food pioneers Nutri co. Find out more here​.

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