Microalgae oil prevents Heart attack

DHA-microalgae oil proves to be better source of EPA, when compared to flax seed oil. This isbecause ALA from flax must be converted into DHA then converted into EPA, whereas, DHA from microalgae only has to be converted into EPA. That is one less enzymatic step to go through!In one study, vegetarians that do not have enough EPA and DHA, supplemented with 1 gram of microalgae oil derived DHA per day for eight weeks, and significantly increased their levels of both DHA and EPA (Lipids 40 (8): 807-814).

These results indicate that DHA derived from microalgae is a very good source of DHA and EPA compared to ALA derived from flax oil. Given the fact that DHA from algae oil is an exceedingly better vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, the question is, does it have the same health benefits as fish oil?

The answer is yes.

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Filler up with microalgae

Biofuels Technologies Enterprises) of Cheyenne, Wyo. intends to commercialize a patent pending technology called direct liquefaction that produces bio-crude oil in a generator from biomass like wood, grass and cooking oils.

Titan Worldwide Inc. has signed a partnership deal with U.S. BTE bio-crude oil producer to help develop and manufacture a commercial refineries to make diesel fuel from biomass. Titan president/CEO Jay Currie calls the business potential for his firm “enormous” if their manufacturing deal with BTE (Biofuels Technologies Enterprises) of Cheyenne, Wyo. becomes reality.

Currie said the ideal biomass material is micro-algae which can be harvested easily can sustainably regrow itself within hours, has a high energy content and has as much as 86 per cent lower emissions than fossil fuel.

If microalgae could replace wood and cooking oil it would be the ideal biomass. Hope it materialises soon.

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Omega3 from Algae oil

Omega 3 algae oil is a relatively new product that has some decided benefits over other omega 3 supplements. Most people take fish oil in order to get adequate amounts of omega 3, and those who prefer not to take fish oil usually take flaxseed oil. These are not the only omega 3 supplements, but they are the most frequently used ones. Omega 3 from algae oil may replace both of them.

Although fish oil from reputable companies is regarded as safe, long term exposure through supplementation is often feared since trace pollutants from ocean ecosystems contaminate both fresh caught and farm-raised fish that feed on or are fed marine organisms. But now, golden microalgae oil is ready to replace medical fish oil for heart and brain health supplement needs.

Some types of fish contain relatively high levels of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], dioxins and other environmental contaminants. In general, older, larger predatory fish contain the highest level of contaminants. Fish can also contain significant levels of methyl mercury, considered one of the more dangerous food contaminants today. Can docosahexaenoic acid omega-3 (DHA)-rich microalgae oil function as a universal fish oil alternative?

Good for vegetarians! Concern over fish depletion in the oceans is also addressed by algae oil becoming source for omega 3.

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Macroalgae cultivation in Scotland

The Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass project, Biomara, is a new UK and Irish joint project that aims to demonstrate the feasibility and viability of producing third generation biofuels from marine biomass. It will investigate the potential use of both macroalgae and microalgae as alternatives to terrestrial agri-fuel production.

Seaweed cultivation and harvest is now an established process in Scotland. Macroalgal spores are collected from ripe plants then seeded onto strings. Here the spores germinate to form tiny plants, which are transferred to sea after two months then harvested six to eight months later. The mature macroalgae can be used to generate methane via anaerobic digestion or to produce ethanol by fermentation.

The Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) holds the largest algal culture collection in Europe, some 2.700 strains.

During the Biomara project, wild strains of microalgae characterised by high oil content and high stress resistance will be screened to identify those capable of sustained growth in outdoor conditions.

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New Bio Fertiliser from a Microalga

Bioalgal Marine, an Almeria University spin-off company specialised in cultivating and integral usage of microalgae has developed a new fertiliser manufactured from a microalga called Spirulina, called Algafert. This natural fertiliser visibly enhances plants’ roots and resistance, without compromising its final quality.

According to Marta Sánchez de Puerta, Bioalgal Marine’s Manager, “this biofertiliser, which is particularly suitable for intensive agriculture crops, is simply a mixture of the microalga Spirulina, water and enzymes. This mixture is heated and, upon reaching a specific temperature, the microalgae break up and release the amino acids. By applying this fertiliser on the crops we save the plant the work of creating the amino acids, with which it grows faster.”

The main peculiarity of this microalga is its high concentration in amino acids, polysaccharides, phytohormones, oligoelements and antioxidants. All these substances, extracted using natural and environmental-friendly methods, act on secondary root growth, cell growth multiplication of the plant’s mass, and multiplication of new shoots, as well as enhancing flowering, which in turn provides greater uniformity in the fruits, both in terms of size and their external appearance. Furthermore, it gives the fruits greater shine and consistency.

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Apparatus for mass cultivation of Microalgae

Presently, the most widely used apparatus is the high rate pond for photoautotrophic cultivation of algae. However, due to design features resulting in poor light energy utilisation and low culture density, productivity per unit area has stagnated.

To achieve higher productivities, photobioreactors and heterotrophic fermentors are promoted. Photobioreactors use carbon dioxide as the source of carbon, photoautotrophic light as the source of energy, and are designed to optimize light management and growth conditions, such as pH, dissolved oxygen and others and thus a high culture density and productivity per unit volume of culture medium can be achieved.

A great amount of developmental work is presently undertaken on photobioreactors of many configurations. Heterotrophic fermentors use organic carbon compounds as the carbon as well as energy source thus allowing them to operate in darkness and achieve very high culture densities and growth rates. However, the process is aerobic and unless the incoming air is sterilized, the culture broth is susceptible to bacterial infection or invasion of weed algae.

Of interest this  apparatus comprises a waterway to be filled with a suspension containing a culture solution and microalgae, also known as a culture broth, and adapted to be irradiated with sun beams while being held in contact with ambient air. It also has a sealed storage tank for storing suspension to avoid it from contacting with ambient air. This invention uses a phototrophic mode to culture the microalgae, and pressurized gas is fed into the storage tank.

Another invention relates to a culture apparatus for microalgae is disclosed in Japanese Patent No. JP 1067174.

This apparatus also applies the phototrophic cultivation mode which is effective in promoting the photosynthesis of microalgae and enabling high-density proliferation of microalgae in a short time. However, a source of photoautotrophic light is required to be accommodated inside the culture tank for preventing the undesirable influence of natural environment.

To obtain a mass production of microalgae, a method for culturing microalgae is also disclosed in Japanese Patent No. JP8173139. This method comprises a mass culture system which has a control means that can be used to adjust the activated state, thus a activation of proliferating function of microalgae is performed.

There are also patented technologies applying a mixotrophic mode for algae cultivation. Of interest in connection with a method for mixotrophic culture for producing a biomass is U. S. Patent No. US2003017558. The method is characterized by the production of biomass which is rich in omega six polyunsaturated fatty acid. However, the method disclosed is merely suitable for the cultivation of Spirulina.

Generally, most of the apparatuses and methods disclosed in the prior arts use phototrophic cultivation mode to culture the microalgae. There are also inventions that apply heterotrophic modes in which nutrients and a source of carbon are supplied to the culture of microalgae. Sounds worthwhile looking into.

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