It's green, it's slimy - it's algae. And it's actually none of those things - at least not the heterotrophic high-DHA omega-3 algae variety produced at Alltech Algae in Winchester, Ky. These algae are off-white, dry and powdery, and unleashing their vast potential for positive change will be one of the topics of discussion at "What If," the 30th Annual Alltech International Symposium in downtown Lexington, Ky., from May 18-21.

With a new format in 2014, the popular yearly event will explore the question of "What If" in sessions focusing on Crop Science, Life Sciences, Africa, Business and Technology, Modern Farming, and The Algae Opportunity.

"When many people think of algae, their minds automatically turn to pond scum or the green stuff that washes up on the beach," noted Becky Timmons, technical director of Alltech Algae. "But the reality is very different, and the surprising health possibilities of the organisms, that are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA, will be explored in depth at The Algae Opportunity session."

"Algae are incredibly powerful tools for positive change, as we look to improve animal nutrition and human nutrition through DHA omega 3-enriched eggs, meat, milk and more," Timmons said. "We're excited to talk with our symposium attendees about the many "What If" possibilities that exist for algae in the health and wellness sphere."

High-DHA omega-3 algae can help bring about a host of positives, such as healthier and more productive animals that bring higher profits for farmers, as well as improved human health through DHA-enriched functional foods, Timmons noted. In humans, DHA omega-3 is linked to improved cognitive function and learning ability in children, including benefits for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as reduced risk of coronary heart disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease in adults.

Furthermore, the substitution of algal DHA in fish diets rather than DHA from fish oil can help create a more sustainable aquaculture industry, particularly important as global fish consumption hits record highs.

The Algae Opportunity session will address a variety of questions including:


  • What if you could improve the health and productivity of dairy cows while providing more nutritious milk?
  • What if you could get all the health benefits of salmon in your daily scrambled eggs?
  • What if we stopped overfishing our seas and algae became the source of DHA?
  • What if you could find a clean, natural sustainable way to provide pets with the essential DHA they need?

Symposium attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the 100,000 square-foot Alltech Algae plant in Winchester, Ky.

The other five sessions at the symposium will challenge attendees to see the world through the lens of possibilities, rather than roadblocks, and will include stimulating discussions on the possibility of diagnosing major diseases in a few seconds with a pin-prick test, the potential to harness the power of algae and aquaculture in Africa, and how drones could even be used to predict and influence farm yields.

Along with these sessions included in the symposium, a separate Health and Wellness Seminar will also be featured in downtown Lexington before the start of symposium, with dietitians, nutritionists, journalists, retailers  and community leaders from around the world speaking on the health benefits associated with dietary DHA through natural food enrichment. The program occurs Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and tickets are $100 to the public, or complimentary for symposium attendees when they sign up online. Space is limited.

Registration for the symposium is open now and available for an early discount price of $599 until April 10. Standard registration after April 10 will be $850. Two paid registrations from a single company or organization will receive a third registration free of charge. Delegates who are members of ARPAS and AAVSB can also earn CEUs.

Attendees are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Of the nearly 3,000 international delegates who attended the 2013 Alltech International Symposium, 96 percent indicated that they plan to attend again.

For more information or to request an invitation, visit the Alltech symposium website.