NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (June 12, 2014) — Alltech began construction this week on an algae production plant in Sao Pedro, Brazil, the largest yeast plant for animal nutrition in the world. The new $63 million investment will generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs and will increase Alltech’s Latin America production by 58 percent.
“The company’s experience with its first algae manufacturing plant in Kentucky has been a great success, and this is the reason for making the investment in Brazil,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech’s vice president for corporate affairs. “People are looking for something different, and algae are critical for conquering new markets. The future of nutrition lies in functional foods, and we are determined to meet the increasing global demand for DHA omega-3 on the farm and at the market.”
There are two types of algae: autotrophic and heterotrophic. The former requires sun for photosynthesis and for the production of energy; the latter uses oxygen in the environment for their development and production and do not need any light. Alltech produces heterotrophic algae, grown in closed stainless steel fermenters. This production practice allows for total control of the process, ensuring traceability, consistency and strict contamination control.
Algae, with a considerable proportion of DHA omega-3, offer a whole range of possibilities: healthier and more productive animals, increases to farmers’ profits, as well as improved human health through DHA-enriched functional foods. In humans, DHA omega-3 is related to enhanced cognitive function and learning ability in children, including benefits for children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, DHA omega-3 improves the health of adults by lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases, and lessening severity of depression. Moreover, replacement of DHA from fish oil by algae-derived DHA in fish diets may help develop more sustainable aquaculture.
Alltech also announced this week the expansion of its production capacity through the acquisition of a new 7,300m² plant in Indaiatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. In the new facility, the company will specially manufacture nutritional solutions for beef and dairy cattle, in response to the increasing regional demand and to support the production capacity of the nine plants that Alltech currently has throughout Latin America, particularly Alltech’s plant in Araucaria, Brazil. At this latter facility, the company has recently doubled the production of one of its leading products, Optigen®, Alltech’s non-protein nitrogen source for ruminants.
With this new acquisition, the company is planning to close 2014 with a sales growth of around 27 percent in Latin America.