Walt Rakitsky will receive the Global Aquaculture Alliance innovation award at Croke Park, Dublin, next month. Photo: GAA

Algae-derived feed ingredient wins innovation award

Algae-derived feed ingredient AlgaPrime™ DHA has been awarded the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) fifth annual Global Aquaculture Innovation Award.

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The news comes just weeks after AlgaPrime's developer, California-based TerraVia, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. Dutch ingredients supplier Corbion has already submitted a $20 million (£15.2m) “stalking horse” bid — which establishes a low offer — to buy TerraVia, which produces AlgaPrime in association with Bunge in Brazil.

Walt Rakitsky, senior vice-president of emerging business at TerraVia, will accept the award and give a presentation at GAA’s GOAL 2017 conference at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, on October 5. AlgaPrime DHA is rich in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

AlgaPrime DHA is being produced at TerraVia and Bunge Ltd’s joint venture facility in Brazil. Photo: TerraVia

AlgaPrime has been manufactured at a facility in Brazil since 2014, running off the steam generated by a sugarcane mill, as part of a joint venture with Bunge Oils (operating as SB Oils). The microalgae is fermented, converting sugars into oils and other ingredients.

'Extremely honoured'

TerraVia was founded as Solazyme in 2003, producing microalgae for use in fuels and chemicals before refocusing on human and animal nutrition and personal care products.

“We are extremely honoured to receive this award. The Global Aquaculture Innovation Award represents the future of aquaculture, and we believe that AlgaPrime DHA is a key feed ingredient for the industry’s continued growth," said Rakitsky. "A new sustainable and transparent source of long-chain omega-3 HHA, AlgaPrime DHA can cost effectively enhance the nutritional value of seafood, delivering an important win-win for both people and planet.”

A total of 18 applications were submitted for this year's GAA award, representing 12 countries — Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Isreal, Italy, Poland, Portugal, South Africa and the United States. Many of the innovations originated from the aquafeed ingredient sector.

Available at scale

In March TerraVia, Bunge Limited and Danish feed producer BioMar announced the expansion of their distribution agreement for AlgaPrime DHA, making the product commercially available at scale to salmon farmers and other participants in the aquaculture industry.

At the time, Jan Sverre Røsstad, vice president and head of salmon division at BioMar Group, said: “We believe AlgaPrime DHA will be a significant contributor to the further development of salmon products with a desirable nutritional profile. We take pride in driving the sustainability agenda of the industry and are pleased to be the first feed producer to bring this new feed ingredient to our customers while ensuring economies of scale.”