Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Smart technology helps scientists enhance high-value algae

Smart technology helps scientists enhance high-value algae



Photobioreactor Mike Packer

New Zealand’s lucrative blue-biotech sector has received a boost with the launch of a highly- sophisticated, multi-vessel photobioreactor (PBR).

The technology has been designed and built by Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, to enhance the production of valuable products and healthy food ingredients from algae.

“We developed this technology in response to industry partner’s needs to rapidly optimise growth conditions and uses for algal product development. It will help advance their operations so they can remain at the forefront of international markets,” Cawthron scientist Mike Packer says.

“We are now focusing on using this new photobioreactor to develop high-value products for our clients and optimising their processes.”

Photobioreactors are equipment for growing algae and other phototrophic microorganisms that need light energy to grow. They are used in many industries worldwide and are highly desirable for growing algae for export products.

At Cawthron, scientists use PBRs to trial algal growth models which can then be scaled up for commercial use by industry partners.

“We specialise in PBR technology and have them in many different shapes and sizes but none as capable as this,” Dr Packer says.

“This new system speeds up our ability to gather information so we can understand how to make the algae grow better and how conditions affect behaviour so it produces desirable molecules such as bioactives, antioxidants, cosmetic and key nutritional ingredients used by the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, biotechnology and aquaculture sectors.”

One of Cawthron’s key clients is nutraceutical company Supreme Biotechnology Ltd which grows and extracts the high-value algae compound astaxanthin on a commercial scale for the global market. The company can already see potential for the new technology.

“We are excited about this development by the Cawthron and we’re keen to utilise their expertise and equipment to optimise our algae growth on a commercial scale. Cawthron have been an essential partner in our journey so far, and will continue to be,” Supreme Biotechnologies Chief Executive Tony Dowd says.

A multidisciplinary team of scientists including mathematicians, engineers and biologists helped design, develop and refine the device over the past three years.

Background:

- Cawthron is New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, specialising in research that protects the environment and supports sustainable development of primary industries.

- It is a world-leader in microalgae and algal technologies particularly in harmful algal blooms and extraction of high value compounds from algae.

- Cawthron works alongside a number of New Zealand biotechnology companies and its expertise is helping keep New Zealand at the forefront of the global biotechnology industry.

- In 2011 Cawthron launched Cawthron Natural Compounds, an initiative focused on extracting minute amounts of complex organic compounds sourced from algae and selling them to international markets. Cawthron is one of just a handful of organisations worldwide with the capability to produce these rare, naturally occurring compounds and bring them to market.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news