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Researchers Find Way to Extract DHA from Algae

TAIWAN - Taiwanese Researchers have discovered a way to extract pollution-free docosa hexaenoic acid (DHA) from an indigenous species of algae that could revolutionize the way the supplement is produced commercially.

Team members said DHA is normally derived from fish and shellfish, but minute quantity of toxins -- such as methyl mercury or dioxins -- may migrate from the fish to the DHA, a common nutritional additive used in food or animal feeds, reports Taiwan News.

According to the news agency, Chen I-min, an NCKU assistant professor and the co-leader of the project, said this contamination led the team to search for new avenues to extract DHA, and it decided to further investigate the possibility of deriving DHA from algae.

The researchers first selected an alga species as the subject of their experiment and then induced fermentation among algae to observe their DHA productivity, Chen said.

Yang Huey-lang, a professor at NCKU's Institute of Biotechnology, noted that the results proved the algae can produce DHA in quantity and without man-made pollutants, indicating its potential as a food ingredient.

Yang said several Taiwan-based biotech companies have showed interest in the process and its related technologies and in applying the method to mass production, reports Taiwan News.

the Fish Site Editor

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