Matrix Genetics, Proterro bring enhanced blue-green algae to Nutrition

February 21, 2016 |

In Washington state, Matrix Genetics and Proterro will jointly produce high-value nutritional products in Spirulina. Matrix will develop the Spirulina strains and Proterro will grow these strains on their proprietary production system.

Matrix was the first company to offer rapid and efficient genetic methods for modifying Spirulina, which unlocks this organism’s high protein content, rich availability of B vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene.  This breakthrough enables Matrix to develop strains with a specific set of traits for a specific set of desired results, as well as the ability to mass produce them.

We’re able to precisely and stably introduce new genes into the Spirulina genome, enabling us to purpose-build strains that meet the needs of our partners,” said Margaret McCormick, CEO of Matrix Genetics. “Proterro is the first company to leverage this capability and is taking a great step towards fully realizing the promise of Spirulina as a commercial-grade source for years to come.”

“After we announced our breakthrough in spirulina 12 months ago,” McCormick told The Digest, “we’ve had a lot of partnering opportunities in  enhanced nutrition, with companies that share our fascination with spirulina’s potential. Proterro was intrigued too, and we’ve figured out how to combine their bioreactor and work in their system. For Proterro, it’s been an opportunity as well to move beyond sugars and show what they can do with algae. This sector is receiving a lot of attention because over the next decades, if we approach 9 billion in population, we have a protein issue, and we have energy and water issues. Algae and spirulina can address address these.”

Proterro will grow Matrix’s Spirulina with Proterro’s photobioreactor system. Proterro’s technology converts the carbon in waste CO2 into valuable products, including industrial biochemicals, food grade and specialty sugars, as well as nutritional products including organic acids, amino acids, nutrients and vitamins.

“This partnership leverages the expertise and core competencies of both companies,” said Colin South, CEO, at Proterro. “With Matrix’s Spirulina plugged into our production system, Proterro will be able to meet the needs of our customers for a sustainable, high-yield source of ingredients for their products.”

 More on the story.

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Category: Research

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