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Using algae to make beta-1,3- glucan

By Scott Jenkins |

With a separate algae-based technology, Algal Scientific has invented a sterile fermentation process for making beta-1,3-glucan from algae that has lower costs than those associated with fermenting the molecule with yeast. Beta-1,3-glucan is a polysaccharide that boosts immune-system function in humans and livestock animals. As a feed supplement, beta-glucan can eliminate the use of antibiotics as growth stimulants, a practice that promotes the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Traditionally, beta-1,3-glucan has been made through yeast fermentation, but the process suffers from a number of limitations. “Yeast-derived beta-glucan makes up only about 5 to 15% of cell weight, and the compound is locked up in the yeast cell wall, which lowers its bioavailability,” explains Algal Scientific’s Horst. Over 50 wt.% of Algal Scientific’s proprietary algae strain consists of beta-glucan after fermentation, and the compound is more bioavailable in the highly digestible algae meal the company manufactures. Yeast-based processes involve costly extraction steps in which the cell wall must be destroyed and the product isolated. In Algal Scientific’s algae fermentation, no extraction is needed, so the…
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