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Astaxanthin is an algae product with uses both for aquaculture and human consumption. After initial research done at the University of Ben-Gurion at Sde Boker, a pilot project was conceived. The project was implemented at Kibbutz Ketura in the Southern Arava, with the major financing coming from JCA. The company created – Algatechnologies, is jointly owned by JCA and the kibbutz.
The factory began operation in April 2002; it is very impressive, spread over 12 dunam, at the entrance to the kibbutz. Most of the area is devoted to glass pipes, in which the algae are cultivated. There are two stages of cultivation, “green” and “red”. The site with its colorful red and green glass pipes is very striking. The algae is then pumped into the factory, where it is filtered and dried into the final product, Astaxanthin.
The production of Astaxanthin is a highly advanced process of biotechnology. It requires trained workers in the lab and in production and includes an R&D department staffed by 2 scientists both holding PhD’s.
Initially the product was developed as a natural food coloring for the salmon industry. Salmon grown in farms do not have the characteristic pink color, so a coloring additive is part of the feed-mix.
However, at this stage we are selling all the Astaxanthin that we produce, to Nutraceuticals firms overseas, who then package it into capsules for human consumption. Astaxanthin is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant with many positive effects and uses as preventative treatment for many health conditions.
The With the continuing support of JCA, we are striving to broaden the international marketing base of the company.
Increased production goals based on the present infrastructure and expansion of the plant in the near future, to enable lowering of production costs.
Further research, including clinical trials, of the positive effects of Astaxanthin on humans.08-6356657