Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions - General
Algae is an ancient source of macro and micronutrients. It is the foundation of our food chain and the basis of all plant life.
The native algae strain used to make AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients was originally discovered in 1894 in the Netherlands.
AlgaVia® Whole Algae Ingredients are whole food ingredients containing healthy lipids¹, protein, dietary fiber and micronutrients.
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.
AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) is a vegan protein rich in dietary fiber, healthy lipids¹ and micronutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae are gluten-free.
Both AlgaVia® Lipid-Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae are vegan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
AlgaVia® Protein-Rich Whole Algae (algal protein) is commercially available throughout North America (US, Canada).
There are no solvents used in the processing of AlgaVia® Lipid Rich Whole Algae and AlgaVia® Protein Rich Whole Algae.
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.