Alltech is continuing to expand its algal DHA plant in Winchester, Ky., one of only two plants in the world commercially producing a high-DHA heterotrophic microalgae, according to the company. The facility, which is capable of producing approximately 15,000 tons of algae, has already been updated since its opening in early 2011.
"The response of the food industry to commercially available algal DHA has been very positive," said Steve Bourne, global director of Alltech Algae. "It is seen as a form of natural enrichment with additional benefits, such as improving the visual and sensory experience of food, thereby offering food producers additional means to market to and please the consumer."
In particular, Alltech is examining algae applications within aquaculture. A global survey of feed producers in 134 countries, carried out by Alltech, found that aquaculture feed production rose 17 percent in 2012, making it the fastest-growing species sector. Survey information also suggested that aquaculture feed may account for 10 percent of global feed tonnage in the next few years. As such, a primary focus of the research occurring within Alltech's Ky.-based aquaculture research facility is the replacement of fish oil in aquaculture feeding programs and the enrichment of fillets with high DHA omega-3.
"As we look ahead, we see algae as fundamental to Alltech's future growth," said Bourne. "The bottom line is that algae improve returns for the farmer with better environmental sustainability, while also creating a healthier population of both humans and animals. We will be increasing our investment in this division of Alltech and furthering our algae production footprint throughout the world to meet the demand for a sustainable source of DHA Omega-3."