NewsBits…July 15, 2021

Veramaris adds Johan Brouwer to its Development Team

Johan Brouwer has joined Veramaris’ business development division. Mr. Brouwer will focus on growing the microalgae oil producer’s presence in European retail and food service seafood markets for the Delft, The Netherlands-based company. He spent the last eight years serving as the operations lead for Seafood Connection, which specializes in frozen fish. “I am really excited to be joining Veramaris at such a pivotal time for the aquaculture industry, when there is real potential to make a difference to the environmental issues that need to be addressed,” Mr. Brouwer said.
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Sophie’s calls for Reformation of Global Food Systems

Sophie’s Bionutrients, a Singapore-based next-generation sustainable urban food production technology company, advocates for and promotes fair and sustainable food systems across the globe. “Our current global food system is not fit for purpose. If the population is to grow at the rate expected by the World Economic Forum, the more difficult it will be to access affordable, healthy and nutritious food,” said Eugene Wang, co-founder and CEO of Sophie’s Bionutrients. “From companies to policymakers, all stakeholders must reform the food system to become more resilient and sustainable. For this reason, we believe microalgae is the superfood of the future.”
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Astaxanthin and β-Carotene Combined in a New Strain

Carotenoids, astaxanthin, and β-carotene are widely used natural antioxidants. They are key components of functional food, cosmetics, drugs and animal feeding. To date, only two genera of green microalgae are widely used for mass production of carotenoids on an industrial scale, Haematococcus and Dunaliella. They produce astaxanthin and β-carotene, respectively, and in doing so one alga produces only one type of a pigment. In a recent paper by Russian scientists, they characterize a new strain of the green microalga Bracteacoccus aggregatus BM5/15 (IPPAS C-2045). It can simultaneously produce both carotenoids (up to 13.1 and 47.9% β-carotene and astaxanthin of cell dry mass, respectively).
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NextFerm Approved to Market Astaferm in Canada

NextFerm Technologies, an Israeli food-tech company, has announced that Health Canada has granted a regulatory marketing approval for Astaferm®, its fermented astaxanthin antioxidant in the form of Gummies and having no odor and flavor. The company is preparing for the launch of several applications of Astaferm in North America, including for Immunity support, a growing segment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company has already supplied initial quantities of Astaferm in Canada and is currently in dialogue with potential customers. Astaferm has a US Self GRAS regulatory approval and was launched in the US at the end of 2020.
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Aqua-Spark Leads $9M Series B Round for Sea6 Energy

Sustainable aquaculture and tech investor Aqua-Spark announced that it has led a $9 million Series B investment round for India-based Sea6 Energy — a vertically integrated seaweed producer, processor, and developer — and the only fully integrated tropical sea agricultural and sea plant-based product manufacturing company in the world. “Investing in seaweed production has been a priority for us since we launched in 2015,” said Mike Veilings, and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “We expect it to play a big part in the future of aquaculture, but, until now, we hadn’t come upon an operation that was both economically viable and was able to produce at scale.”
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