SBIR Phase I: Improving The Bioavailability of the Natural Antioxidant Astaxanthin from Haematococcus Pluvialis
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
3488 Bramlet, Clemmons, NC, 27012
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to improve the bioavailability of astaxanthin from the green algae, Haematococcus pluvialis, through molecular genetic manipulation of the organism. Natural astaxanthin is a potent bioactive antioxidant and offers tremendous potential for use in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture, and poultry industries. The green alga, Haematococcus pluvialis, is the richest known natural source of astaxanthin. One major constraint in the Haematococcus production system, however, is that astaxanthin-rich cells (cysts) possess thick cell walls that hinder astaxanthin extraction and subsequent bioavailability for humans and cultured animals. Chemical and physical cell disruption processes account for a major cost of the production, yet introduce the risk of oxidation of astaxanthin. In this Phase I project, certain features of Haematococcus will be genetically altered so as to facilitate fast and efficient extraction and digestion of cell-bound astaxanthin. The immediate commercial application of this project will be in the nutraceutical and aquaculture markets.
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