In the food and dietary supplements market, the quality of ingredients is sometimes overlooked. One reason is that it is not easy to continuously maintain high-quality on an ingredient basis, because in many cases their growth heavily depends on natural environmental conditions. Another is that generally speaking price competition is too severe to invest enough on quality control and its associated systems. Crucially, foods and supplements are there to promote human health, rather than pose a threat to safety. In order for AstaReal proprietary astaxanthin to play key roles in a new paradigm of health management, prevention and therapy, it has to demonstrate a high level of quality and safety. AstaReal proprietary astaxanthin products fulfill a high standard of quality and safety, all while meeting the regulatory requirements of each market.
In fact, it is not easy to fulfill the high standard of quality and safety in astaxanthin. Natural non-GMO astaxanthin algae is known for its difficulties in controlling growth. AstaReal has established our unique indoor bioreactor algae cultivation system through the trial and error processes of astaxanthin algae cultivation technologies for more than 20 years since 1994. In 1999-2011, for example, we tried closed dome cultivation in open air in Hawaii. Under Hawaii’s strong and rich sunlight, we cultivated astaxanthin algae using 1,000 transparent-plastic bio-domes. Although we expected efficient cultivation with less energy costs, it fell short of our expectations. Uncontrollable sunlight did not allow us to easily control the growth process, which is connected to the potency and stability of astaxanthin. This large number of complicated structured bio-domes required us to spend unexpected energy to clean the domes.
AstaReal is the only player that cultivates Haematococcus pluvialis astaxanthin algae in the indoor bioreactor system. This unique cultivation system is backed by results of more than 20 years of AstaReal’s R&D on bio-technologies and enables us to have a stable supply of quality astaxanthin. The system consists of a combination of optimal breeding and a series of optimal bioreactors used in each phase of growth, lighting, nutrients and recipes for growth, etc. It is the culmination of these technologies that AstaReal is proud of, and our competitors cannot easily imitate it either.
With this unique cultivation system, AstaReal proprietary astaxanthin has a high level of quality and safety, which includes potency, stability and/or functionality. One of those advantages is being contamination-free. It realizes free or strictly-controlled from contamination of chemicals that may be contained in natural soil and air, or allergens such as Pheophorbide or chlorophyll derivatives. A high level of temporal stability is another advantage. The system enables us to control for those factors, which are difficult to be controlled by other systems.
Further, 2-site production in facilities located in Gustavsberg, Sweden and Washington, the U.S. enables us to have a stable supply of quality astaxanthin that is not affected by weather conditions. It also ensures a stable supply since one site can be a back-up in the case of an emergency at another site. Further, our production is environment-friendly. At our U.S. facility, clean energy from hydroelectric power generation on the Snake River, part of the Columbia River system, is used for cultivation.