Marine ingredient startup Yemoja Ltd. has opened the doors of its new plant in Israel, dedicated to the production of high-value microalgae. Yemoja has brought production up to speed to meet the volume of orders emanating predominantly from the global nutraceutical and cosmeceutical sectors.
Yemoja cultivates microalgae customized to fit functional food, nutraceutical, or cosmetic applications. The company utilizes high-precision, fast-track photobioreactor technology to produce the microalgae in a sustainable manner. The indoor cultivation is a closed, contaminant-free system that maintains control of key parameters such as temperature, pH, light, and CO2 emissions with capabilities to produce a broad spectrum of pure algae.
“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,”
said Erez Ashkenazi, COO and co-founder of Yemoja. “Our indoor system generates exceptional yields with proven reproducibility on a very small plot of land and using minimal resources.”
Yemoja operates a small batch production line structured in an arrangement of vertical luminescent columns known as illis. Each ille is allocated a specific algae species and is completely closed off and isolated from other units to prevent any cross-contamination. This facilitates the simultaneous and continuous production of a variety of algae-derived products that can meet the specific requests of customers.
“Our unique site runs on recycled water and minimal energy. The exploitation of artificial light for photosynthesis limits the need for cooling,” explained Ashkenazi. “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. Our specialty ingredients are cultivated in a chemical-free, all-natural process, with full respect of our natural habitat.”
The startup set up its first pilot facility in 2017. Following a series of successful proof-of-concept trials in 2018 and a fruitful seed round, Yemoja decided to move on to the next phase of opening a full-scale manufacturing plant. A few weeks ago, the plant began rolling out microalgae production on an industrial scale to meet a new influx of demand.