European Novel Food authorization for algal DHA
Libourne, 27 January 2015 – Fermentalg, an industrial biotechnology company that specializes in the production of oils and proteins derived from microalgae, has received the European Novel Food authorization for its first product: DHA-enriched oil (Omega-3) for the vast human nutrition market. Obtaining this authorization means Fermentalg has achieved one of the priority objectives announced at the time of its IPO, opening the way for the sale of the first batches to future end clients as of this year.
The authorization, which is valid for all European Union countries, was issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), just 6 years after the creation of the company, following an exhaustive analysis of the composition, nutritional value, metabolism, intended use and purity of the DHA-enriched microalgae oil derived from Fermentalg’s patented technology.
Fermentalg already plans to expand the product’s commercial reach in both geographic (United States and Japan) and market terms.
Human nutrition, a first major market opportunity
EPA and DHA are highly sought-after essential fatty acids known for their role in the prevention of numerous illness. DHA (which accounts for over 20% of total fatty acids in the human brain and over 40% of fatty acids in the retina) is recognized for its beneficial effects on the brain (tissue, healthy development and increase in intellectual capacity) and the heart (reduction in triglycerides, cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease).
Since the human body is unable to produce DHA, it must obtain it from other sources such as food and, today, 95% of EPA and DHA commercialized on the markets is derived from oily fish despite major constraints (risk of contamination, varying quality, odor, rapid depletion of resources). Omega-3 derived from microalgae is an unrivaled response to this inevitable challenge facing society.
Estimated at 135,000 tons in 2014, the global market for Omega-3 and Omega-6 is expected to increase to 223,000 tons in 2023 (i.e. an average annual increase of 6%) by which time Fermentalg is looking to secure an estimated market share of between 4% and 5% in terms of volume that would represent an annual turnover of over €400 million for the company, its partners and subsidiaries.
Next stop: industrial production
Fermentalg will now be able to focus fully on the industrial side of its plan to conquer the Omega-3 market with the construction of its Industrial Development Unit (IDU). The company received the building permit for its future industrial site in Libourne (Gironde) next to its head offices at the start of October and work has begun. Between now and then, and thanks to this recent authorization, Fermentalg will be pursuing talks with future business partners and delivering the first batches of its products ready to be marketed.
For Pierre Calleja, Founder and Chairman and CEO of Fermentalg: „This authorization is another major new step accomplished by the company within the time frame announced. We already have the technological capacity needed and a first distribution agreement has been signed. We now have the authorization to go on to conquer our first target market and will be securing our investment in the IDU more than ever.“