Astaxanthin expansion: Chile’s Atacama Bio expands footprint in Asia with Malaysian and Singapore distribution

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

NatAxtin is produced using a sustainable low energy technology ©Atacama Bio
NatAxtin is produced using a sustainable low energy technology ©Atacama Bio

Related tags Astaxanthin Antioxidant

Chilean astaxanthin producer Atacama Bio Natural Products S.A has entered into an exclusive distribution partnership with Malaysia-based Nexus Wise to distribute its branded astaxanthin ingredients in Malaysia and Singapore.

Nexus Wise supplies ingredients for nutraceutical companies in Asia, and the partnership will see the introduction of NatAxtin, Atacama Bio’s astaxanthin range of products.

NatAxtin is natural astaxanthin cultivated from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae, grown in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

In Malaysia and Singapore, NatAxtin will be available in various formats including oleoresin (oil), microencapsulated oleoresin, microencapsulated biomass, biomass, cold water dispersible powder, cold water dispersable liquid emulsion and soft gels.

These would be suitable for application into soft gel capsules, hard tablets, and drink mixes.

NatAxtin has been clinically studied for its effects on immunity, energy, brain, skin, heart and eye health.

In Malaysia and Singapore, Nexus Wise will market NatAxtin as an anti-ageing ingredient, due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties as an antioxidant.

Chris Tan, executive director of Nexus Wise, commented on the partnership: “At Nexus, we demand more than just being a healthy ingredients distributor. Our mission is to nourish billions of lives worldwide, requiring a committed partner to put this to work. Both Atacama Bio and Nexus have been acknowledged for their innovation and share a common interest in developing high-quality products supported by strong clinical evidence​.”

The partnership comes after two years of discussion.

Atacama Bio says NatAxtin is produced using a sustainable low energy technology. It utilises the natural resources of abundant sunlight, clean underground water and pristine environment, instead of carbon dioxide injection, oxygen separator and artificial lighting.

Asian markets

Atacama Bio has always hinted of its intention to expand in Asia, especially where demand for astaxanthin as a functional ingredient is predicted to grow in the region.

Last year, it entered South Korea for the first time, in the form of a soft-gel supplement​, targeted to decrease the risk of macular degeneration and improve eye fatigue.

The supplement is manufactured by social enterprise Vitamin Angels and distributed by health ingredient seller Heamin Co.

Earlier in January this year, Atacama Bio entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Fermenta Biotech Limited (FBL) in India which will see NatAxtin incoporated into nutraceutical products. This formal agreement comes about three years of discussion.

Tomás Arenas, vice president, global marketing at Atacama Bio told NutraIngredients-Asia​ the firm is keen on expanding its presence in Asia, with Indonesia and Taiwan also on the cards.

Apart from market expansion, Arenas said the firm was working on formulation improvement.

One example was developing vegan alternatives for its soft gel format.

All the products that had non-vegan ingredients transitioned to vegan formulations. That creates an advantage in terms of being able to provide the quality that is required nowadays in different markets​.”

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