Frequently Asked Questions - General

  • General Questions
    What is algae?

    Algae is an ancient source of macro and micronutrients. It is the foundation of our food chain and the basis of all plant life.

    Where was the algae used to make AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients discovered?

    The native algae strain used to make AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients was originally discovered in 1894 in the Netherlands.

    What are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients?

    AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients are whole food ingredients containing healthy lipids¹, protein, dietary fiber and micronutrients.

    What is AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae?

    AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) is a whole food ingredient containing healthy fats¹, dietary fiber, and micronutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin. It can be used to make food products with reduced overall fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calorie count while maintaining or enhancing the indulgent taste and texture. AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae allows you to reduce or replace butter, oil and egg yolks in recipes. 

    What is AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae?

    AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) is a vegan protein rich in dietary fiber, healthy lipids¹ and micronutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin. 

    Are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients gluten-free?

    Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae are gluten-free.

    Are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients vegan?

    Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae are vegan.

    Do AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients contain allergens?

    Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) and AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) are free of known allergens. No allergic reactions to these ingredients (i.e., immune system reactions) have been observed by us or reported to us.

    How are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients labeled?

    The ingredient AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae is typically labeled as “Whole Algae Protein” or “Whole Algal Protein.” The ingredient AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae is typically labeled as “Whole Algae Flour” or “Whole Algal Flour.” The term flour is a description of the ingredient’s appearance only, and the ingredient itself is not a grain, does not contain any gluten, and is not intended as a substitute for traditional wheat flours.

    What are tocopherols? Why are they in AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae?

    Mixed tocopherols are a form of Vitamin E used as antioxidants. The mixed tocopherols in AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) are plant-derived antioxidants that are added to help maintain freshness.

    How are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients produced?

    Our portfolio of AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients is made from a selected native algae strain, originally discovered in fresh water in the Netherlands. We take simple sugars and feed them to the native algae in closed fermentation tanks. After cultivation, the algae are washed, dried and milled.

    Are AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients safe?

    Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) and Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) are classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in compliance with FDA regulations concerning substances for food use. An expert panel reviewed published safety data and all processing information, and confirmed the safety for intended use of these ingredients. GRAS Notices to the FDA (GRN 519 and GRN 469) received “No Questions” letters from the FDA on completion of review.

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/?set=GRASNotices&id=519
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/index.cfm?set=GRASNotices&id=469

    What kind of algae is used to make AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients?

    AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients are made from Chlorella protothecoides. Chlorella algae, a naturally occurring source of various macro and micronutrients, have been an accepted part of the human diet for hundreds of years.

    How do AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients differ from other chlorella ingredients?

    AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients are manufactured by cultivating Chlorella grown under heterotrophic conditions in fermentation tanks, rather than being photosynthetically grown in open ponds like many Chlorella products. We take simple sugars and feed them to the algae in closed fermentation tanks. After fermentation, the algae are washed and dried. Our manufacturing process occurs in a pre-sterilized closed system, therefore reducing the risk of product contamination from other organisms and minimizing environmental contamination with heavy metals or other allergenic substances (e.g., shellfish protein). Many reported adverse reactions to Chlorella are related to the consumption of pond-derived products.

    Do some individuals experience gastrointestinal (GI) reactions to AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients?

    There is information in the public domain regarding sensitivities to many commonly consumed foods.  Indeed, a 1996 publication by Hefle et. al. identifies over 160 commonly consumed foods that have been reported to cause reactions in sensitized individuals (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 36(S):S69—S89 (1996)).  While Chlorella is not included in this article, there are reports in the literature indicating a small subset of the population may have a sensitivity to Chlorella. Commonly reported side effects are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

    We are aware of a modest number of adverse GI reactions to products containing AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein), with the level of reactions being within industry norms for reactions to plant-based and other proteins and representing a very low incidence rate. We are aware of very few adverse GI reactions due to products that contain AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour). In no cases was Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) identified as the cause.

    Individuals who experience an adverse reaction after consumption of products containing these ingredients should either avoid using them or reduce the serving size of the product containing them.

    How do the AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae gastrointestinal (GI) reactions experienced compare to soy protein and whey protein reactions?

    We are seeing low incident rates that are within industry norms for reactions to plant-based and other proteins. Information on GI reactions and allergies of soy protein and whey protein can be found via the links below:

    Soy Protein: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/soy/safety/hrb-20060012
    Whey Protein: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/whey-protein/safety/hrb-20060532

    Where is AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) commercially available?

    AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) is commercially available throughout North America (US, Canada, Mexico), the EU, the UK, and Australia/New Zealand.

    Where is AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) commercially available?

    AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae (algal flour) is commercially available throughout North America (US, Canada, Mexico), the EU, the UK, Australia/New Zealand and Brazil.

    Are solvents used in the processing of AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients?

    There are no solvents used in the processing of AlgaVia® Lipid Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein Rich Whole Algae.

    Does the Feedstock used for AlgaVia® Whole Algae ingredients contain GMO’s?

    The feedstock that is used to produce AlgaVia® Whole Algae food ingredients is a European Union approved variety of dextrose (non-GM). The feedstock has been tested and has no GMO content detected.