alaysia-based Algaetech International, a pioneer algae technology company specializing in R&D, as well as production and commercialization of algae-derived high value products, has been on track to expand their production of astaxanthin eggs, to sell at the rate of 500,000/day by early 2019.
The eggs are now in the market in Malaysia and Indonesia, and Algaetech is in discussions with distributors in Kazakhstan, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with the goal of penetrating into 30 countries over the next two to three years.
Algaetech’s astaxanthin is produced in their facility at Technology Park Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, within a closed photo-bioreactor system — the first Haematococcus pluvialis plant in South East Asia, according to the company. They market their astaxanthin eggs and other products to consumers via their Premia brands, which they also ship direct to customers internationally.
The innovative project began two years ago when, “Out of curiousity, we started adding our astaxanthin powder (haematococcus pluvialis extract) to the normal chicken feed,” says Managing Director Datuk Syed Isa Syed Alwi, “giving layer chickens the goodness of astaxanthin. As a result, the layers produced eggs infused with astaxanthin.”
Each astaxanthin egg contains up to 2.2 milligrams of astaxanthin, about half of the United States Food and Drug Administration recommended dosage of 4.0 milligrams daily. The eggs are priced at RM1.50 (US$0.35) each in Malaysia, able to command the premium price owing to the growing awareness of astaxanthin’s antioxidant properties. In marketing the eggs, Premia touts the astaxanthin claims:
- Contains Natural Astaxanthin — the most powerful Anti-Oxidant
- It has Longer Shelf Life
- Lower Cholesterol Content than Regular Eggs
- Higher Protein Content Compared to Regular Eggs
- Natural Feed used for the Layer Hens
- No Antibiotics or Hormones is used for the Layer of Hens
Algaetech is preparing for growth of their asaxanthin eggs line, most recently by striking a partnership with Selasih Aman Sdn, with Algaetech supplying the astaxanthin ingredient from its production facilities. “We chose Selasih Aman as our partner for their ability to produce up to one million eggs per day, due to their excellent agricultural practice,” said Datuk Syed Isa Syed.
This year, Algaetech aims to generate RM24 million (US$5.66 million) in revenue, compared with RM1.7 million (US$401,000) last year, with sales of the astaxanthin eggs contributing up to 30 per cent to its revenue.
Much of their remaining business is via B2B channels, selling astaxanthin powder, oleoresin, capsules and white labels — currently supplying to a few companies in Malaysia and Korea for their end products, such as astaxanthin supplements and functional food. The company is looking at astaxanthin as a key ingredient for the future, and is developing additives in the aquaculture feed and animal feed industry.