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The Algalif Blog

Summary of the ongoing seismic activities in Iceland.

By News, The Algalif Blog

The ongoing seismic activity near the town of Grindavik in the Reykjanes peninsula does not affect the production capabilities or product delivery abilities of Algalif Iceland. All Algalif employees are safe and there is no danger to any Algalif facilities.

Algalif is located in a safe area next to the Keflavik International Airport about 25 km from the active area. Both the airport and all other businesses in the area are safe and open.

The geology of Iceland.

Iceland is a volcanic island and very young in a geological context. The island of Iceland is the result of slow lava buildup for the past 20 million years. It is located on the Mid-Atlantic ridge where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. The plates move away from each other by a few centimeters every year. That means that earthquakes are quite common and there are volcanic eruptions on average every five years for as long as there is historical data.

Picture from Wikipedia.

Picture from Wikipedia.

The Icelandic power grid.

The Reykjanes Peninsula is partly an active volcanic area. That is one of the reasons some of Iceland´s geothermal power plants are located there. It has seen a lot of activity in recent years after being inactive for almost 800 years. This activity is located in a relatively small part of the peninsula near the town of Grindavik and east of that area. The international airport and Algalif are in another part of the peninsula, west of Grindavik in a non-active area.

About 2/3 of all electricity produced in Iceland comes from hydro sources and about 1/3 from geothermal sources. The Icelandic power grid is a circular one and all the major power plants are connected to the same grid. This means that even if something happens to the power lines or any other part of the grid, there is redundancy and always another route to get electricity to users. Therefore there is no reason for Algalif to make any special arrangements as enough green electricity for its continuous production of microalgae will be available.

Picture from Landsnet

Picture from Landsnet

Most of the island is a safe area.

The volcanically active area in Iceland stretches from the southwest corner to the northeast corner of the country, as seen in the picture. There are some rural towns in Iceland, that are located on, or very near, active volcanic areas. The main reason is that these towns developed before the active areas could be mapped out with modern scientific methods.

All major urban areas are located outside the active area. The same goes for the international airport in Keflavik and Algalif´s facilities. The airport is strategically based exactly where it is for several reasons, one of them being that it is a safe area regarding volcanic activities. This is also the reason why the area was chosen by the US government and NATO to build a military base a few decades ago.

Geothermal energy.

As Iceland is one of the most active volcanic areas on Earth, it is also an area where geothermal heat, with geysers and hot springs, is quite common. This gives Iceland a big advantage when it comes to central heating for homes and businesses, using hot water during the cold winter season. The production of green geothermal-based electric energy is a substantial part of the country’s electricity production. Only hydropower production is larger. This both increases the quality of life for the normal Icelander who can enjoy long showers and regular trips to the local public swimming pool and helps companies like Algalif to produce top-quality products in a sustainable way.

Picture from HS Orka

Picture from HS Orka

An eruption every other year for the last century.

At the same time, it requires constant management of the inherent risks of living on a volcanic island. The twentieth century saw more than 50 eruptions. One of them was in 1973 when a third of the town of Vestmannaeyjar was destroyed. Fortunately, only one person was lost from gas poisoning during that incident. In another instance in 1947 a scientist, doing measurements near the volcano Hekla, died.

In recent years there has been a lot of volcanic activity in Iceland. So far in the 21st century, there have been 13 eruptions. The most famous of them was in 2010 when the Volcano Eyjafjallajökull stopped air traffic for a few days in Northern Europe due to ash disbursement. Nobody has been lost in any of these 21st century events. This is largely because Icelanders have learned to live with the harsh nature on their island of fire and ice.

The current events.

The ongoing seismic and volcanic activity near the town of Grindavik in the Reykjanes peninsula looks to be a relatively small incident on the measurement of the potential scale of such events. However, it is situated very close to the old fishing village. There have been thousands of earthquakes there in the last few days, most of them small but some of them up to 4 in size. When this is written, there is a lot of magma gathering underneath the area of the town at a depth of about 2000 to 5000 meters, and it is likely that there will be an eruption. All inhabitants have been moved away from the area and the authorities are analyzing all available data with some of the world’s most experienced scientists to secure the safety of people. These are of course dramatic events and there has already been damage to roads and houses, but nobody has been injured.

In summary, Algalif is in a safe area near the Keflavik International Airport, about 25 km from the active area. Both the airport and all other businesses in that area are safe and open. The ongoing geological activity does not affect the production capabilities or product delivery abilities of Algalif Iceland. All Algalif employees are safe and there is no danger to any Algalif facilities.


By Svavar Halldorsson.


The Colorful World of Carotenoids

By The Algalif Blog

It’s all about carotenoids.

With more than 1,000 types of carotenoids described, it is safe to say they have a wide variety of functions. But what makes them similar among each other is their chemical structure, which consists of a long chain of conjugated double bonds and a series of isoprene units, giving them their characteristic color and properties. In addition, carotenoids may contain functional groups such as hydroxyl, keto, or epoxy groups, which can modify their properties and biological activity, dividing them into two groups: xanthophylls (oxygen present in the structure), and carotenes (no oxygen is present in the structure). 

The general structure of a carotenoid 


Traveling through the food chain 

Animals are not able to produce carotenoids by themselves, but they are able to modify the ones ingested through the diet in order to obtain useful substances; for example, most animals are able to synthesize vitamin A from carotenoids like β-carotene, α-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin. As mentioned before, in the case of flamingos, they feed on brine shrimp, which turns red as they graze upon microalgae, as a result, they get their characteristic pink color.  

Why astaxanthin?  

Well, it turns out that astaxanthin is not only a very powerful antioxidant and booster of immunity when consumed; it also has some impressive properties that set it apart from the rest of the carotenoid groups. What makes astaxanthin stand out is its unique ability to protect against stress produced by the environment. It is produced by a few species of bacteria, microalgae, fungi, and other microscopic organisms called thraustochytrids, but the freshwater algae, Haematococcus Pluvialis is the non-GMO organism with the greatest capacity for astaxanthin accumulation.   

What about us?  

You might be wondering if consuming astaxanthin will turn your skin red, just like a flamingo. The short answer is no, taking the recommended dose of astaxanthin will not make your skin turn red. However, consuming very high amounts of carotenoid-rich foods can cause a condition called carotenosis, which presents as an orange discoloration of the skin, especially in palm and soles. It can also be associated with a decreased carotenoid metabolism and hyperlipidemia – a condition in which people have higher than usual lipids in the blood.  Luckily, the only adverse effect of carotenosis is embarrassment, which arises when friends and family notice that you blend in well with the produce section! 

So go ahead and embrace astaxanthin as part of your daily routine. Our Icelandic astaxanthin, produced with pure water and manufactured sustainably, offers a multitude of health benefits. It supports cardiovascular health, improves skin radiance, enhances muscle performance, and boosts immune function. Incorporating Algalif’s natural Icelandic astaxanthin into your lifestyle will provide you with a holistic approach to wellness, ensuring a healthier and more vibrant you. 

An Algalif Blog by Ingrid Lazo and Francesco Golin, Cultivation Specialist  

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

Immunity for Life

By The Algalif Blog

Immune health is important for everybody, independent of lifestyle, age, or profession. Our immune systems face tremendous everyday challenges as a result of the fast-paced lifestyle of today. A strong immune system is becoming more and more important to consumers. The top 5 health concerns of supplement users in the US, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements (2013/2014), regularly include immune health.

Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan (NBG®) is a versatile ingredient for functional food, beverages, nutraceuticals, and sports nutrition products that support healthy immune function.

We are the Experts

Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan from Algalif comes with a 25-year heritage of unsurpassed yeast beta-glucan discovery and development. No other manufacturer has a stronger track record of scientific development, manufacturing expertise, and understanding of beta-1,3/1,6-glucan from baker’s yeast. This knowledge and capability are key throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that the molecular structure of the beta-glucan remains intact for it to deliver its full effect and the purity of the ingredient is delivered to a consistently high standard.

Clinical Research

Nutramunity™ is a potent and safe immune-enhancing component isolated from baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Clinical research has shown that beta-1,3/1,6-glucan:

  • Improves immune function* (oral intake)
  • Promotes healthy inflammatory response* (oral intake)
  • Supports mucosal immunity and promotes respiratory health* (oral intake)
  • Stimulates the skin’s ability to repair, renew, and protect itself (topical application)
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles (topical application)

Supplements, Food & Drinks

Nutramunity™ can be used in daily supplements, foods, beverages, medical foods, foods for special dietary uses, and personal care formulations. It is easy to incorporate Nutramunity™ into new and existing products. The beta-1,3/1,6-glucan molecule is stable and robust – it does not disintegrate with time, nor does it react or interfere with other ingredients. Since it does not turn rancid, no preservatives are needed. Yeast beta-glucan is highly bioactive; hence, small amounts are sufficient. These properties make incorporation of the ingredient into existing products easy, as it does not require major changes in the current formula.


It is Novel Food approved and kosher- and halal-certified. Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan is non-allergenic and those components in yeast that may cause allergy (i.e., mannose-proteins) are completely removed during the production process.

Immunity for Everyone

Maintaining a robust immune system is crucial for individuals of all backgrounds, regardless of their lifestyle, age, or occupation. However, certain groups are particularly susceptible to infections:

  • Stressed people have higher levels of hormones that weaken their immune defense.
  • Families with kids are often troubled with colds, flu, and tummy bugs that kids get at nursery and school.
  • The elderly are more vulnerable to infections due to age-related deterioration of immune functions.
  • Healthcare professionals are in everyday contact with patients, many of whom carry contagious diseases.
  • People on travel encounter alien microbes and their immune systems often struggle to cope.
  • Athletes expose themselves to hard physical stress, leaving them more prone to diseases.


An Algalif Blog by Julia Gamaniek, Nutramunity Beta Glucan expert.


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

From Bloodletting to Biotech: A Brief History of GMPs in Medicine

By The Algalif Blog

We at Algalíf Iceland ehf. are a biotechnology company that specializes in the production of natural astaxanthin from the algae Hematococcus pluvialis.  We pride ourselves on providing reliable service and high-quality products to our customers through a sustainable business plan.

But what does quality look like at Algalíf? We chose to comply with GMPs, „Good Manufacturing Practices“, as this system is a key factor in medicinal quality around the world. To understand why this GMP quality system is so impactful, we have to know a bit about how it all started.

Before and well into the 1800s, the medical field was based more in superstition than in science. The Dark Ages lived on in ideas like sin-induced illness, miasma, and bodily humors. Seeking medical attention often resulted in harmful treatments such as purging- the use of mineral toxins to induce vomiting- and the failure rates of these „curative measures“ were staggering; many died as a result of their medical treatment. Read More

Astaxanthin – the origin of nature‘s most potent antioxidant

By The Algalif Blog

Natural astaxanthin is known as a chemical compound that has several health benefits for humans; including reducing inflammation, accelerating muscle recovery, and enhancing joint, skin, and eye health. But what is the origin of this nature‘s most potent antioxidant – and what role does it play in nature?

Astaxanthin helps to outperform

Even though we might recognize astaxanthin as the pigment that provides flamingos, lobster, and salmon meat with their distinctive colors, the primary producers of the compound are simple multicellular microorganisms. When taking a step further to understand why this magical pigment is produced by these simple organisms, we must keep the forces of evolutionary biology in mind. For instance, Haematococcus pluvialis, the freshwater microalgae species used at Algalíf, produces astaxanthin in high concentrations to outperform other organisms that thrive in similar conditions. Astaxanthin production aids the algae in competition for light, nutrients, and other essential resources. In other words, astaxanthin has played a role in the success of Haematococcus pluvialis in the brutal process that we generally refer to as natural selection.
Read More

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