MiAlgae launches algae derived omega-3 product for aqua feed and pet food

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

MiAlgae team - Top to bottom: Ben Horton, Douglas Martin, Jamie Gilman, Dr Johann Partridge, Scott Parker, Polly Douglas, Shreekanth Ramananthan © MiAlgae
MiAlgae team - Top to bottom: Ben Horton, Douglas Martin, Jamie Gilman, Dr Johann Partridge, Scott Parker, Polly Douglas, Shreekanth Ramananthan © MiAlgae

Related tags whisky pet food aqua feed co-products

Biotech company, MiAlgae, has officially launched its omega-3 product NaturAlgae, which is targeted at the fish feed and pet food sectors.

The Scottish startup, which has raised around £5m (US$5.9m) in investment since it was founded in 2016, said it is continuing to develop commercial relationships with customers across the pet food and aquaculture sectors. 

3. Polly Douglas
To help drive its planned expansion, MiAlgae has appointed Polly Douglas as business development manager. She joins the company with strong expertise in aquaculture and nutrition and recent experience in the biotech start-up world. She was previously with gas-fermentation company, Deep Branch Biotechnology, where she was responsible for managing a portfolio of multi-million-pound grant funded projects.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, MiAlgae recycles co-products from the local whisky industry, such as pot ale, as feedstocks to produce its microalgae derived omega-3 product.

NaturAlgae is a dry powder with a high concentration of DHA and other oils, which can be supplemented into aqua feed and pet food formulations. 

The launch follows expansion at MiAlgae's commercial production site, located to the north of Glasgow, with eight new bioreactors recently installed at the facility. Final commissioning is underway, and the vessels will enable it to boost production capacity "almost immediately."

With a growing waiting list of customers, the startup said it eventually expects to be producing hundreds of tons of its omega-3 powder per year.

Douglas Martin, MD and founder, MiAlgae, said: “This expansion of our commercial production site marks a huge milestone on our journey to champion the circular economy. With the addition of our new equipment, we are now able to take our product to market at a meaningful scale with significant headroom to grow.”

Using the outputs from a single distillery, MiAlgae maintains that its technology has the potential to save 80k tons of CO2, recycle 14.4m liters of water and protect tens of thousands of tons of fish annually.

Co-product partnership

Earlier this year, the biotech announced a partnership with Falkirk Distillery​ whereby the whisky maker’s co-products will be transported to MiAlgae’s site for use in the NaturAlgae manufacturing process.

“We’re committed to scaling quickly and have plans to work closely with a number of distilleries across Scotland where we can co-locate MiAlgae’s technology with the distilleries, creating an on-site water recycling solution for the distillery, and a greater production capacity. This will allow us to expand rapidly and make a very real stride towards the sector’s environmental goals,” added Martin.  

The malt whisky industry in Scotland alone produces about three billion liters​ of pot ale on an annual basis. The liquid is challenging to dispose of, and for decades the industry has been keen to develop more environmentally and economically sustainable methods to manage it.

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