High Value Products
Astaxanthin is a pink-orange carotenoid that is extensively used in the aquaculture and poultry industries for its colorant properties. There is also growing demand for its use in dietary supplements, health foods, food colorants and personal care products. Astaxanthin is a much more powerful anti-oxidant than beta-carotene, lutein and Vitamin E in neutralizing disease-causing free radicals.
Data is accumulating demonstrating the compound’s effectiveness in various diseases including macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, arteriosclerosis, retinopathy, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
An algae species, Haematococcus pluvialis (H. pluvialis), is the major producer of natural astaxanthin. Matrix is developing technology that addresses the major limitations of H. pluvialis – reducing manufacturing time and improving extraction efficiencies.
Using Matrix technology, manufacturing time should be reduced from about three weeks to just one week as the induction time to produce large amounts of astaxanthin is greatly shortened.
Additionally, a major challenge with H. pluvialis production is extraction of the pigment, which is produced only in hard-walled cysts of dormant, non-growing cells. As a result of this difficulty, production yields tend to be low. Extraction of carotenoids in the Matrix strains is much easier, because it is produced in actively growing cells, so there is very little loss from the simple extraction process.