New natural astaxanthin in production

Production has started in Selby, England, of Aquasta, a new natural yeast-based astaxanthin
April 7, 2004

Production has started  in Selby, England, of Aquasta, a new natural yeast-based astaxanthin from British carbohydrate giant Tate & Lyle and U.S.-based Igene Biotechnology, Inc.

Commercial quantities of Aquasta are available in Chile from this week, a Tate & Lyle spokesman told . "We aim to ramp up production to an annual rate of 1500 tonnes."

Aquasta has been approved as a feed ingredient in Chile, Canada, the United States and Japan, and the process to obtain approval in Europe is underway.  "Chile will remain our primary market for the first full year of production, however, we will also ship product to Canada and Japan in 2004", the spokesman said. 
The all natural astaxanthin is being produced in one of  four large fermenters at Tate & Lyle Citric Acid, Selby, England and will utilize all four fermenters by mid-summer.
Aquasta is a natural product made by fermenting a proprietary strain of the yeast Phaffia rhodozyma. It is GMO-free and is in the same isomeric form as the astaxanthin found in Antarctic krill, was told.

In a joint press release from Tate & Lyle and Igene Biotechnology, Inc. last March, Tate & Lyle’ said it had invested £15m ($25m) in the venture, which included certain of its Selby assets currently used in citric acid production.

"We have been improving our strain and process continually over the past number of years. This is the ideal moment to exploit this technology with the assistance of Tate & Lyle's experienced manufacturing staff," said Michael Kimelman, Chairman of Igene.

About Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle is a world leader in carbohydrate ingredients. The company's core competence is to take basic carbohydrates - corn, wheat or sugar - and add value to these raw materials through technology. These products include Cereal Sweeteners, Starches, Sugars and Citric Acid. Applications include food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, paper, packaging and building industries. With headquarters in London, the Group has 8,500 employees and 50 plants in 24 countries.More information at: .

About IGENE Biotechnology
Igene has been specialising in research to adapt naturally found compounds to productive applications. It is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. More information at: