Yemoja, an Israeli marine ingredient start-up, has opened a new sustainable microalgae production plant.
Located within the mountains of the Upper Galilee region of Israel, the new facility has enabled the firm to meet new volume of orders from the global nutraceutical and cosmeceutical sectors.
Yemoja cultivates microalgae customised to fit functional food, nutraceutical or cosmetic applications. The company utilises a unique, facility housing high-precision, fast-track photobioreactor technology, setting a new gold standard for microalgae production and sustainability.
“We built a ‘green’ factory in which we can create and maintain the ultimate conditions for any known microalgae species, yet with zero dependence on external environment and weather,” explains Erez Ashkenazi, COO and Co-Founder of Yemoja.
“Our indoor system generates exceptional yields with proven reproducibility on a very small plot of land and using minimal resources.”
Yemoja operates a small batch production line structured in a visually intriguing arrangement of vertical luminescent columns known as illis. Each ille is allocated a specific algae species, is completely closed off and isolated from other units to prevent any cross contamination.
This facilitates the simultaneous and continuous production of a variety of algae-derived products that can meet the specific requests of customers, maintaining their individualized control irrespective of batch volume.
“Our unique site runs on recycled water and minimal energy. The exploitation of artificial light for photosynthesis limits the need for cooling,” says Ashkenazi.
“We meticulously designed the site to meet to the highest standards of operational efficiency in order to minimize environmental impact leaving only a tiny carbon footprint. Our specialty ingredients are cultivated in a chemical-free, all-natural process, with a full respect of our natural habitat.”
The start-up set up its first pilot facility in 2017. Following a series of successful proof-of-concept trials in 2018 and a fruitful seed round, Yemoja decided last year to move on to the next phase of opening a first fully fledged manufacturing plant. A few weeks ago, the plant began rolling out microalgae production on industrial scale to meet the new influx of demand.
“Recently we have received heightened interest in our external polysaccharide sulphate (EPS) Porphyridium cruentum due largely to increased global demand,” says Eyal Shalmon, CEO of Yemoja.
“The polysaccharide has been investigated for its ability to be merged into various biotechnological applications and industry disciplines including, cosmetics and biomedicine. The soluble polysaccharide fraction is already being used in skin care products and in a considerable number of cosmetic formulations due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.”