Parry Nutraceuticals, Valensa expand microalgae plans through joint venture with Synthite Industries

A 6.5 million dollar investment will open a new processing plant for Phycocyanin and future markets for value-added derivatives from micraolgae

Spirulina (pictured) is used to extract Phycocyanin

Florida-based Valensa International announced a joint venture agreement between Valensa’s parent company EID Parry and Synthite Industries Ltd., which expands Valensa’s plans to lead the development and distribution of value-added microalgae extracts for nutraceutical applications. The agreement includes a $6.5 million investment to establish a new plant for the extraction of Parry Organic Spirulina to produce Phycocyanin, which Valensa will be developing for dietary supplements, functional and medical foods.

Both Parry Nutraceuticals and Valensa International are divisions of EID Parry and the $5 billion Murugappa Group. Parry Nutraceuticals has been a pioneer in the production of microalgae-based technologies and products since the 1970s, with its flagship product Parry Organic Spirulina. The 50-50 joint venture will leverage Parry Nutraceutical’s cultivation strengths and Synthite’s extraction capabilities making it a strategic fit for both the partners. In addition, their strengths in marketing will be synergistic, with Parry Nutraceuticals and Valensa focusing on the global human nutrition segment while Synthite Industries will focus on food colours and additives segments.

Valensa has commenced work on value-added compounds from Parry Organic Spirulina and other micro algae extracts for specific health benefits like cardiovascular health, joint health and immune health. The extracts have been tested in both in vitro and in vivo, to unravel the mechanism of actions and applications for specific health conditions.

The joint venture will set up a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India with an investment of around $6.5 Million for the production of Phycocyanin, a natural blue pigment extracted from Spirulina. Phycocyanin is a complex of light-harvesting proteins, extracted from Spirulina which has a characteristic deep blue colour. Phycocyanin offers excellent stability and flexibility for application in a variety of food and beverages and is approved by all major regulatory bodies in USA, EU, Japan and South Korea as food colour.

Aju Jacob, Director, Synthite Industries said, "Our partnership will offer our customers a high quality, sustainable, supply of Phycocyanin blue. Our leading edge technology will allow us to qualify our product as a natural 'Coloring Food' for European markets and as a certified Organic product for the US market. We will also explore emerging opportunities in Algae extracts for the global health and wellness industry."

Speaking about the joint venture, Muthu Murugappan, Business Head of Parry Nutraceuticals said, “To start with, we will be focusing on extracting Phycocyanin from Spirulina. In due course, we will be looking at other avenues within the microalgae segment thereby building the business to a company with a diversified value-added Algae portfolio.”