Heliae focuses on high-value algae for personal care

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

Heliae focuses on high-value algae for personal care
The company has begun operations at its first commercial facility in Arizona whereby it will initially focus on producing 'high-value algae' for the personal care industry.

The facility is said to showcase the scalability and economics of its proprietary algae technology, particularly its Volaris platform, which is a hybrid of known phototrophic and heterotrophic models.

According to Heliae, the platform decreases capital costs, improves contamination control and increases productivity and product optionality. It will also enable the company to develop specific algae strains and give some flexibility in producing ingredients.

Scales of economy demonstrated

"We are now demonstrating both the scalability of our technology platform and the economics of our approach. This step unlocks a robust pipeline of international projects that will allow us to further expand our footprint globally​,"  CEO, Dan Simon explains.

The company's investors include select members of the Mars family, the ASEAN-based global conglomerate Salim Group, through one of its subsidiaries, Agri Investments, and Thomas Edelman.

As marine extracts become increasingly important with cosmetic manufacturers, algae are receiving much attention due to their renewable nature and Heliae reckons it has the potential to be the industry's main source of sustainable actives.

Facility will meet demand for sustainable resources

According to Mike Rohlfson, business development director; more and more algae ingredients such as coastal plants, seaweeds and sea minerals are making their way into cosmetic products and hold the key to be the future's sustainable ingredient alternatives.

Rohlfson says that although formally accepted, technology obstacles and demand constraints have until now kept algae in the margins of the industry and that this company's technology can unlock it's value for cosmetic companies.

The cosmetics industry has a legacy involvement in algae and a wide array of strategic ingredients to access such as proteins, sterols​, peptides, nucleotides, and pigments.”

As the development of the cosmeceuticals category for example becomes ever more popular, Rohlfson points out that formulations in this area including naturally-derived ingredients such as camphor, allantoin and algae extract can be difficult to source because of limited supply resources.

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