Production and Cost of Omega-3 from Algae

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Interviewer: You mentioned earlier, when we get omega-3's from fish, put in
a simple way its squeezes the fish and using the oil. How are omega-3s
produced from algae?

Interviewee: Right, so you need to do a lot of things in order to create
value in terms of algae-based omega-3s. There's two major ways to get it.
One is a fermentation facility. Basically, sugar is the main carbon source
to grow algaes in fermented vats. And there's the natural way, or
photosynthetic way, to grow algaes, just grow them in shallow ponds in the
field and let sunlight and CO2 be a major input into the system. And you
need to extract the oil out of the algae and you need to do it in such a
way that it preserves the natural qualities of the oil. In case of algae,
the harvest rate is on a daily basis. It's not like a crop that you harvest
on a seasonal basis. It's more like a cow giving milk every day. So we do
see variations in the quality of omega-3s on a season basis, winter versus
summer, and you have to have a way to standardize the end product. So we
will always meet the same spec interfacing the customer. So these are
things that you have to think about when you want to bring an omega-3 from
algae to the market.

Interviewer: Is there a cost difference between an animal source or algae?
When it gets down to the consumer level?

Interviewee: Right, so first of all it's a wonderful question. Now, how do
you account for the cleanup cost? So if you start with a question about
source, it's cheap. But then you have to invest all of the money and effort
to bring it to a degree that the pollutant level is low enough to be used
by humans. Right now, the product we're marketing is the same price, bulk,
as crude oil. We don't ask for any extra because of vegetarian source. We
think it's a similar quality and it's a similar price. And I think the
customer deserves a better product with the same price tag. So we don't
want to punish the end customer, we really want to create value for them.
Fish oil is a typical Omega-3 supplement. There the fish is basically squeezed to get the oil for the supplement. In this video, Dr. Isaac Berzin explains how Omega-3 supplements are produced from an algae source. He also discusses the cost of omega-3 from algae versus an animal source, like fish.

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