Healthcare startups: Israeli Startup Debuts Astaxanthin From Yeast

Israeli Startup company, NextFerm, debuted astaxanthin from yeast for human consumption.

NextFerm, founded in 2013, is the first company to bring an ingredient derived from astaxanthin to the food market for human consumption. Elzaphan (Elz) Hotam, VP Marketing & CEO of NextFerm USA, believes that NextFerm is the first company to bring this new source, which was previously used by the aquaculture feed markets, into the market.

NextFerm presented this information at the recent SupplySide West trade show.

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a naturally occuring carotenoid that can be found in salmon, shrimp, crab, lobster etc. It is not produced in the body, therefore it must be ingested from the foods we eat or through supplements. The dosage recommendation depends on the person’s health level and condition.

Astaxanthin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties so it has very powerful benefits. Some of the benefits of consuming astaxanthin include improved heart health, reduced inflammation in the body, lower risk for diabetes, and improved joint health.

Astaxanthin falls within the xanthophylls category that contains oxygen and is distinguished by its red, yellow, and orange pigments. It is a fat-soluble molecule so it has to be eaten with a meal that is high in healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, etc.

Phaffia-derived Astaxanthin

NextFerm started out of a fertile Israeli entrepreneurial startup culture, such as Enzymotec which was acquired by Frutarom. NextFerm has worked with other organizations to help boost the culture and productivity of the fermentation process in the industry. Elzaphan Hotam, Vice President of Global Marketing said “NextFerm marries a cutting edge technology with a wonderful group of individuals in relevant fields”. He continued by saying that “We took a small company up to an IPO, and we want to do that again.”

Astaxanthin was originally derived from the algae Haematococcus pluvialis which is a freshwater species of Chlorophyta and has a high content of the antioxidant astaxanthin.  However, NextFerm derives its astaxanthin from the phaffia rhodozyma yeast. Astaxanthin is the primary carotenoid ingredient in this yeast, but it is not the most common form of the ingredient found in the market.

NextFerm says the Phaffia-derived astaxanthin produces astaxanthin in a natural and non-esterified form, which enhances the benefits that are produced by this carotenoid. It provides fast and efficient absorption. The healthcare startup believes it can produce 10% beadlets without any fishy flavor.  Overcoming this flavor, makes the element beneficial for gummies and tablets.

Phaffia rhodozyma is a known prominent microorganism that is able to make astaxanthin in a natural form. Several research efforts have been made to find more about the astaxanthin synthesis process that will help to advance the healthcare industry in massive ways.

The fermentation process allows the company to achieve high process efficiencies for its ingredient, the branded name of which is AstaFerm.  

“It is well known that fermentation is a very efficient process. We can control everything in a closed tank. We believe our ingredient will be cost competitive, especially with astaxanthin from algae that is grown in open ponds” says Elzaphan Hotam.

AstaFerm™

AstaFerm is the first fermentation-derived astaxanthin available in the markets today, resulting in quick and effective absorption.

NextFerm’s products are used in various forms, such as: dietary supplements, animal feed industries, and brewing. The company has introduced the first and only fermented-derived form of astaxanthin available today. AstaFerm™, presented by NextFerm, has developed this new form of astaxanthin so that it will be more effectively absorbed by the body. In the process, they changed the way astaxanthin is derived (algae-derived astaxanthin). AstaFerm™ is a CWD powder that has free-flowing dispersion and can be easily used in all foods through supplements or other forms.

AstaFerm™ is extracted from phaffia rhodozyma (Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous) and has superior organoleptic properties.  

More about NextFerm

NextFerm leads the world of nutrition through their genuine fermentation processes. They focus on single-cell fermentation as a source of active ingredients through non-GMO and sustainable sources. This healthcare startup believes they have the ability to control the value chain and bring their products to the market. NextFerm is an industrial company that is science-based to represent fermentation and fermentation derived products to be used as supplements, food, and even animal feed. Their team consists of Chairman Yossi Peled, VP and CFO Yossi Ohana, CEO Boaz Noy.

The mission of this healthcare startup is to strive for a world where everyone has access to better nutrition. They focus their time on natural products, rather than the artificial and unsustainable products that are often found in the markets today.

Using their non-GMO technology, this healthcare startup introduces new and improved methods to deliver superior yeast products. Their aim is to provide the world with nutrition-filled products that are more natural and cost effective.

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