Omega 3 Oil Markets
Fish oil is currently the main commercial source of Omega-3 oils (96% of market by volume). The growing demand for Omega-3 is adding to the unsustainable harvesting of fish stocks around the world. Omega-3 supplements from fish oil have limited application as a food additive. This is due to the possible risk of toxins, unpleasant taste, poor oxidative stability and their unsuitability for vegetarian diets. Microalgae derived Omega-3 oils can overcome these nutritional drawbacks and reduce pressure on world fish stocks.
Algal Omega-3 oils are currently 2-3 times more expensive than fish Omega-3 oils. This limits their use to niche markets such as vegetarian food supplements. One of the main reasons for the high cost is the use of solvents. These are used to extract the oil. In addition, the solvent method requires the algae to be dried in an energy-intensive process. Solvent is a highly hazardous chemical which is toxic, flammable and carcinogenic.
The development of an inexpensive oil extraction process overcomes a key bottleneck for industrial-scale production of microalgae oils. This ranks near the top of algae industry challenges according to the US DOE Algal Technology Roadmap.
Algzym Technology has demonstrated an 81% saving in oil recovery by removing the high cost of oil extraction. This novel, low cost technology, replaces the standard solvent extraction process
- Algae oils can be a substitute for vegetable oil feedstocks (e.g. Palm, Soybean)
- Refined glycerine produced for biodiesel may also be used in the pharmaceutical and consumer product industries (cosmetics, skin, beauty care, Omega-3)
- Specialty oils and fatty acids for dietary supplements and other consumer care applications
- Substitution of agricultural sourced feedstocks for conversion of carbohydrates (sugars) to bio-ethanol (e.g., corn, wheat, sugar cane and sugar beets)
- Production of bio-based polyolefin plastics as biodegradable replacement of fossil fuel feedstocks
- There is a high protein content in algae biomass for the animal food market, replacing agricultural-based protein sources (e.g., soybean meal)
- Production of renewable fuel for substitution of diesel, ethanol and aviation fuels for commercial, industry and aviation sector
- Feedstock source for biomass power generation as a substitute for fossil fuels
- Conversion of residual biomass following oil extraction to renewable distillate
Major Health Benefits
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce triglycerides
- Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
- Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm
- Reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
- Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease
Declining Global Fish Stocks
- Increased human demand for fish and subsidies for fishing fleets have resulted in too many boats chasing too few fish.
- Two-thirds of the world’s fish stocks are either fished at their limit or over fished. The UN food and agriculture organisation (FAO) has estimated that 70 percent of the fish population is fully used, overused or in crisis.
Human Population Explosion
- In 1 A.D., the human population on Earth was steady at 200 million.
- In 1804, in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, this count passed one billion.
- In 2011, just over 200 years later, the population soared to seven billion.
Someone Has to Produce it
If the world is running out of fish and the population is exploding, then someone has to find an alternative source of supply of the food supplements we need to survive.