Kemin acquires Algal Scientific's beta glucan technology

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Kemin Industries is looking to grow its antibiotic alternative portfolio with the purchase. 

Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, Algal Scientific focuses on products for animal and human nutrition relying on an algae production system.

Its microalgae derived beta-glucan that is said to support immune health for animals.

Already sold in many regions globally, Kemin said it will work to expand the beta-glucan derived product registrations immediately.

The acquisition includes the assets needed to manufacture beta-glucans, including Algal Scientific's production facility, said Haley Stomp, marketing director with Kemin Nutrition and Health.

Kemin also takes on the technology inventors and several of the Michigan based developer's production and research orientated employees, she said.

The transition process for the former members of Algal’s staff has already started. 

John Tucker, CEO of Algal Scientific, said his firm, as a start-up, invented the technology and extensively researched the science behind the differentiated beta-glucan, but that Kemin was well placed to exploit this technology and expand it globally.

That Iowa based group will look for synergies with its existing products, said Stomp.

She told FeedNavigator. “We are focused on expanding our business for gut health enhancement and through the development of new products internally as well as sourcing novel technology through acquisitions.”

The beta-glucan technology is being viewed as a complement to the range of gut health products that Kemin already produces including those based on organic acids, probiotics and butyric acid, in order to have targeted products for different life stages and to meet all customer requirements, she said.

“As consumers demand reduced antibiotic use in animal production, we are providing alternative products to support animal nutrition and health,” she said. “Our products can also benefit our customers who feed more traditional programs, as improving gut health in animals can provide benefits regardless of antibiotic use.”

Cost effective and bioavailable 

Geoff Horst, co-founder of Algal Scientific, told this publication previously that the algae derived beta-glucan is more cost effective than the standard yeast derived variety in that there is no extraction process involved at all.

“In fact, the beta-glucan content in yeast is low and it is not bioavailable without an expensive extraction step. This has rendered it too costly for widespread use as an animal feed ingredient except in high margin species like salmon, shrimp, and calves.

Our proprietary algal technology can help the poultry and pig sectors reap the benefits of beta-1,3-glucan as we produce a whole algae meal that contains over 50% beta-glucan and is bioavailable without further extraction,” he said.

At IPPE 2016 in Altlanta, he reported on the findings of company research into the mode of action of its algae derived product.

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