New Yemoja facility brings customized microalgae to cosmetics ingredient marketplace

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (greenleaf123)
© Getty Images \ (greenleaf123)

Related tags microalgae biotech

This month, the marine ingredient startup announced the opening of a production plant that uses leading-edge photobioreactor technology to produce microalgae at the scale and quality needed for industrial use.

“Recently we have received heightened interest in our external polysaccharide sulphate (EPS) Porphyridium cruentum due largely to increased global demand,” ​Yemoja CEO Eyal Shalmon tells the press.

And beauty products, often skin care formulations, do on occasion include algae-derived porphyridium cruentum to help regulate sebum production, encourage the expression of collagen and elastin, and maintain skin hydration—a fact that Shalmon goes on to emphasize: “The polysaccharide,” ​he says “has been investigated for its ability to be merged into various biotechnological applications and industry disciplines including, cosmetics and biomedicine. The soluble polysaccharide fraction is already being used in skin care products and in a considerable number of cosmetic formulations due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.”

Clean and green skin care ingredient production at industrial scale

The lack of consistent quality and volume of product is a big challenge for industrial scale cosmetics and personal care makers when it comes to ingredients sourced from the natural environment. And this is something the newly opened Yemoja production plant aims to circumvent.

“We built a 'green' factory in which we can create and maintain the ultimate conditions for any known microalgae species, yet with zero dependence on external environment and weather,” ​says company COO and and Co-Founder Erez Ashkenazi, in yesterday’s press release about the facility opening.  

“Our indoor system,” ​he explains, “generates exceptional yields with proven reproducibility on a very small plot of land and using minimal resources.” ​And the new microalgae facility uses recycled water and limits energy use by using artificial light rather than sun light in the microorganisms’ photosynthesis process.

“We meticulously designed the site to meet to the highest standards of operational efficiency in order to minimize environmental impact leaving only a tiny carbon footprint,” ​adds Ashkenazi.

The new Yemoja facility is different but not altogether dissimilar from what Capsum has created with their ingredient and production facility in Austin, Texas,​ in that it brings the cultivation and harvest of natural inputs indoors and into a very carefully regulated system.

Yemoja is making specialty ingredients for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals

Based in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, the newly opened Yemoja microalgae production facility will serve not only beauty makers but functional food and supplement makers as well.

The indoor cultivation model promises to be contaminant free and able to simultaneously cultivate a variety of microalgae species. Each species is contained in a vertical column (called an ille or illis collectively). And it’s this configuration of column after column that allow Yemoja to “[continuously produce] a variety of algae-derived products that can meet the specific requests of customers, maintaining their individualized control irrespective of batch volume,”​ according to the press release.



The marine-derived beauty ingredient trend has long been an integral part of Deanna Utroske's cosmetics and personal care business news coverage.​ And this is, in part, why hers is a leading voice in the industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.

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