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Halldorsson Svavar

Fucoxanthin – The gold in golden microalgae

By The Algalif Blog

What is fucoxanthin?

Fucoxanthin is a golden member of the colorful group of carotenoids, which are natural pigments who share similar chemical structure. Fucoxanthin is the most abundant carotenoid on earth, about 10% of all, but it is unique to Algae, both seaweeds and microalgae. Despite its abundance, we hardly consume any fucoxanthin in our diet. So, unless we are fans of Japanese cuisine, we are not benefitting from the plethora of health benefits that fucoxanthin provides.

How is fucoxanthin good for health?

The most important and unique health benefit of fucoxanthin is its activity against metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is considered a global epidemic affecting 25% of the world’s population. MetS is a cluster of conditions including central obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance, which is linked to reduced productivity, increased healthcare costs, and the onset of severe diseases.

Fucoxanthin was shown to work in the mitochondria of central fat layers to increase the burning of fats. Moreover, fucoxanthin improves the hormonal balance of fat tissue to increase its breakdown for energy and to ameliorate insulin resistance. Clinical studies have shown that the outcome of these processes is reduced waist size and normalized blood sugar levels.

Fucoxanthin also has neuroprotective effects, meaning that it potentially prevents neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss and dementia. In addition, it protects brain cells from damage after head trauma or stroke.

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Astaxanthin Supplementation and Cognitive Health: New Insights from Recent Research.

By News, The Algalif Blog

In the realm of health supplements, astaxanthin has garnered attention for its potent antioxidant properties. The market for astaxanthin is growing fast as more people become aware of its potential. Recently, a review paper published in the journal Nutrients explored the cognitive health benefits of astaxanthin supplementation. The paper was written by a group of scientists from Edge Hill University in the UK. It sheds light on the potential of astaxanthin to enhance mental performance and protect against cognitive decline. The paper can be found here.

Key Findings

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Anti-aging and skin care

By The Algalif Blog

Astaxanthin is commonly used in supplements, but it can also be used for various cosmetic products, especially those that provide anti-aging effects. Astaxanthin helps neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from harmful solar radiation and environmental pollution. In addition, it helps reduce inflammation and improve the elasticity and texture of the skin. Astaxanthin is especially known for its ability to reduce the signs of skin aging, including the prominence of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Haematococcus Pluvialis

Fast growing Natural Astaxanthin market

By News, The Algalif Blog

The worldwide astaxanthin market will almost double in size in the next decade, according to a new research report from DataM Intelligence. According to the report, the combined market size for natural astaxanthin and synthetic (petrochemical) astaxanthin was USD 1.5 billion (1,500,000,000) US$ in 2023. It is expected to reach USD 2.7 billion (2,700,000,000) US$ by 2031. That is about 80% increase in market size. Note that only natural astaxanthin has health benefits for humans.

Algalíf Iceland. Natural Astaxanthin: Human Clinical Studies Overview.

Algalíf Iceland. Natural Astaxanthin: Human Clinical Studies Overview.

This means that the annual growth rate (GAGR) is 8,1%. Again, this includes both synthetic (petrochemical)  and natural astaxanthin. The authors describe the purpose of the report to be to “provide a telescopic view of the current market size by value and volume, opportunities, and development status.” The synthetic (petrochemical) astaxanthin market is much bigger in volume than the natural one, but the raw material price for natural astaxanthin is about much higher than synthetic (petrochemical).

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Astalíf™ is now certified Vegan®

By News

The Astalíf™ microalgae astaxanthin biomass and all Astalíf™ astaxanthin oleoresins products are now certified Vegan® by the Vegan Society. The certificate can be found here.

All Algalif´s astaxanthin products are derived from the Haematococcus Pluvialis microalgae, which makes them all vegan, but this certification ensures that all production processes are within the framework of The Vegan Society for a Vegan® certification.


The Vegan Society is the oldest vegan organization in the world. The Vegan® trademark is an internationally recognized product certification, established in 1990 by the Vegan Society. There are about 65.000 vegan products from about 30.000 companies certified by the Vegan Society around the world.

Astalíf™ is a brand name by Algalíf Iceland for astaxanthin products from microalgae. Algalif is an industry leader in the production of high-quality sustainable natural astaxanthin from microalgae. The company is the biggest producer of natural astaxanthin in Europe and one of the biggest in the world.

All astaxanthin products from Algalíf Iceland are also Carbon Neutral, Non-GMO, Halal, and Kosher certified. All Algalif certifications can be found here. Algalif Iceland and its production processes are regularly inspected by local authorities as well as the European Food Safety Authority and USA Food and Drug Administration.

All Algalif certifications can be found here.

Algalif awarded the best astaxanthin producer for four consecutive years.

By Algalif in international media, Algalif in the media, Awards, News

Algalif has been awarded the Global Health and Pharma Biotechnology Awards 2024 as the Best Natural Astaxanthin Products Supplier. Algalif got the same award in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

This is the ninth time the UK-based Global Health & Pharma magazine has given out the international Biotechnology Awards. The magazine is a part of AI Global Media publishing house.  Please go here to read the magazine.

“We are extremely honored by receiving these esteemed awards for the fourth time,” says Svavar Halldorsson, Algalif´s Head of Sales and Marketing. “But we need to be mindful that the real honor belongs to our dedicated teams in science, production and sales. Without their hard work, we would not be receiving any awards of any kind.”

Algalif is Europes’s biggest producer of sustainable natural astaxanthin. Algalif was the first and only Icelandic Company to be awarded the GHP Pharma Biotechnology Awards in 2022 and therefore also the first Icelandic company to win it four times.

Further information:

Further information about Global Health and Pharma and AI Global Media:


GHP Q2 2024 (ghp-news.com)

Further information about Algalif:


The Killer in the Air – Free radicals

By News, The Algalif Blog

When a car rusts, an apple rots, or skin wrinkles, it is always due to “free radicals”. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that attack the body’s 100 trillion cells every day, triggering a destructive chain reaction that can manifest itself in a wide variety of diseases. However, we can protect ourselves from this with certain radical scavengers called “antioxidants”. One such radical scavenger, Astaxanthin, a highly potent carotenoid, is one of the strongest antioxidants. This substance can protect the body´s cells from the attacks of free radicals.

Natural astaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant

You cannot see them, cannot hear them, cannot smell them, and cannot feel them. But they are there! The Killer in the Air. Their name: “Free radicals”. This is simply oxygen molecules.

Oxygen is vital to us humans. But how can a vital element be capable of such destruction? On one hand, oxygen sustains, promotes, and fuels life – on the other hand, it causes stress and damage to our proteins and even DNA, impairing our health and well-being in multiple ways. The reason: Not all oxygen molecules are made equal.

Negative influence of oxygen molecules

The majority of respirated oxygen is stable and indispensable for life. But there are also unstable oxygen molecules, including the free radicals. Radical and non-radical oxygen molecules differ in their molecular structure. Radical oxygen species have an unpaired – unstable – electron, and this excess of energy can only be stabilized by stealing electrons from other nearby molecules, such as our proteins or DNA. This is how free radicals can quickly develop into killer substances. The radical oxygen molecules can influence our organism very negatively.

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Why does environmental impact play a role for microalgae-derived astaxanthin production?

By The Algalif Blog

Although microalgae certainly represent a novel, promising source of several bioactive compounds such as astaxanthin, fucoxanthin, EPA/DHA, and phycocyanin, less attention has been paid to the difference between potential cultivation techniques and their associated environmental and sustainability footprint. Here, location, water availability and quality, cultivation technique, energy source, energy requirements, volumetric productivity, downstream approach, and carbon footprint are key factors in the overall sustainability profile of a given approach. Let’s take a closer look at two of those factors: location and water source.



Location in this context can refer to both geographical location, but also the distinction between cultivation that takes place outdoors and cultivation that takes place indoors. In both cases though, access to a sustainable, stable, and renewable energy source is of critical importance.


Outdoor operations are usually located in warm, sunny climates and have the general sustainability advantage of using natural sunlight to drive the photosynthesis and thereby requiring less energy overall. The disadvantages include increased contamination risk and bioburden, low productivity, limited light utilization and a stronger need for external temperature adjustments – all of which can increase the environmental footprint substantially.


Indoor operations are usually more energy intensive as the process is often driven by artificial high-energy lighting. The advantages however include full parameter control (temperature, pH etc.), enhanced productivity (partly due to being able to cultivate both day and night), lower contamination risk and lower energy requirements for temperature adjustment. Locations with stable, low-temperature climates, low bioburden and access to renewable energy are therefore best suited for indoor microalgae cultivation.


Water availability & quality

Water is the single most important ingredient in microalgae cultivation. Microalgae cultures are predominantly made up of water (biomass density rarely exceeds 10 g/L and is often around 1-4 g/L), so it goes without saying that water availability and quality are critical factors. Sustainability and environmental considerations are tightly linked to the water source in many ways;

  • Sustainable, steady water access is of primary importance and water usage must not be at the expense of other industries or general usage.
  • Chemical pre-treatment of the water is needed in locations with poor water quality, and this has a negative impact on the overall sustainability and environmental profile.
  • The suitability of the local water profile needs to be aligned with the intended culture medium to be used and the microalgae species in question. If the profile is not suitable, adjustments need to be made and these can have negative environmental impacts.
  • Controlling water use by ensuring that evaporation rates are minimized is a sustainable step to take. Evaporation rates in open pond, outdoor systems can exceed 20% per day but in closed, indoor systems the evaporation rates can be maintained well below 1%


Overall, this discussion demonstrates that although microalgae cultivation for the production of bioactive compounds is an inherently environmentally friendly process, many details have to be taken into consideration to assess the overall sustainability profile and to compare products produced by different cultivation techniques and in different locations.

An Algalif Blog by Dr. Tryggvi Stefansson, CChief Operating Officer of Algalif


The benefits of astaxanthin for humans will be explored in future blogs – keep up to date by following us at www.algalif.com.



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