Fucoxanthin is an orange carotenoid that plays an essential role in photosynthesis. It is the main carotenoid in brown seaweed and diatoms and, like other carotenoids, protects the algae against oxidative stress. Studies in humans have shown that fucoxanthin contributes to a healthy metabolism, glucose management, can help in the reduction of visceral fat and promotes a healthy liver function. Fucoxanthin is a safe ingredient that has been consumed and sold in the US and Asia for many years. It is a main component of Asian diets in the form of brown seaweed as well as it has been sold in the form of concentrates and extracts.
Astaxanthin is a red pigment, which is responsible of giving the pink-red color to salmon and shrimps. In nature, the main source of natural astaxanthin is the green microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. The molecule is a powerful antioxidant with a capacity greater than other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene. Astaxanthin is approved for human consumption and recognized as safe for food and beverage applications by the food safety authorities both in the EU and US. As an antioxidant, it contributes to oxidative stress reduction, and it's been shown to enhance immune response. As a carotenoid, it acts as a filter of light protecting against UV radiation and scavenging free radicals generated by environmental exposure. Studies have shown to improve skin condition and reduce signs of aging.
It is used in sports medicine due to its capacity to promote lipid metabolism over glucose and to absorb the oxidative stress induced by exercise. Additionally, astaxanthin shows a high anti-inflammatory activity, and it was shown that it positively impacts insulin sensitivity for type II diabetes. Also, has demonstrated potential in cardiovascular health during in-vivo research.
The word algae does not constitute a taxonomic group on their own. Instead, algae is a term that is used to define a group of organisms highly diversified, which exist in practically every aquatic environment and conduct, in general, oxygenic photosynthesis. The group includes unicellular microorganisms (microalgae and cyanobacteria) and pluricellular organisms (seaweed). Algae are responsible for more than half of the oxygen in our atmosphere!
Microalgae, as non-vascular plants, lack complex structures, making the entire biomass available for harvest and use. Microalgae convert a significant part of their energy into ingredients that are healthy for humans. Microalgae are microorganisms that undergo a simple cell division cycle, thus can complete their cell cycle very fast, allowing a fast development of the cultivation process.
A lot of research has been done and written about algae and how they work. For example, the Netherlands Nutrition Center writes on their website :
"There are many different types of seaweed and algae. Both are a good source of protein and iron. In addition, microalgae also contain vitamin B1 and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Seaweeds are a source of iodine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin B. The cultivation of seaweed and microalgae has little impact on the environment: hardly any land, fresh water or fossil fuel is needed. "
A report (report 662) from Wageningen UR from 2013 states on page 42:
"Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (blue-green algae), Spirulina (blue-green algae) and Chlorella (green microalgae) are the most prominent protein-rich algae that are commercially produced. Blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) are microorganisms, due to their unicellular structure. Some Aphanizomenon and Spirulina are toxic (Alam et al., 1973; Gentile and Maloney, 1969; Pereira et al., 2000). However, the strains grown for consumption do not contain toxins. Unlike Spirulina, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae can fix diazotrophic nitrogen. In addition to their high protein content, health-promoting properties are attributed to blue-green algae, such as the supply of unsaturated fatty acids, stimulation of the immune system and protection against cancer (Nichols and Wood, 1968; Schwartz et al., 1988). "
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, AFA for short, is a cyanobacteria that is found in many places worldwide. AFA, for example, grows in Dutch lakes and in the Baltic Sea. There are abundant strains of AFA, including toxic ones. A well-known strain grows in the Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon, at an altitude of about 1400 meters above sea level. Since the 1980s, AFA has been harvested from Upper Klamath Lake during the two flowering periods and processed into food supplements. AFA contains a very large amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, omega 3 and other essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are easily absorbed by our body after processing!
- The Napurin team has wide knowledge and experience in the Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector. We know how to grow plants optimally. We integrate various vertical farming techniques, so that a lot can be cultivated on a relatively small area.
- We do the cultivation ourselves and with a minimal ecological footprint. We are independent and constantly keep our eye on the crop. This way we can be sure that we produce a pure and safe product for consumers. Hygiene and quality control are first for us in the structure of the cultivation protocols and in the technologies used.
- Jan Barendse, Napurin’s owner, has been researching AFA and its effect on our well-being since 2008. Not only with regards to our body and mind, but also regarding the health of our planet. Algae can play an important role in natural energy production (biofuel) and may become a substitute for chemical crop control. Jan is also called 'Mister Alg' by his colleagues. His passion and quest for perfection are limitless.
The result is that Napurin's products grow under maximum control, are mega-healthy and have a minimal ecological footprint. In short: vital without worries!
Napurin does not have any products available yet. It is expected that pure Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) will be available for sale by the end of 2021.
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We have grown AFA. Literally and figuratively. Are you interested in participating or do you want to know more about our plans and business operations? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Together we grow faster!
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“Your food is your medicine, your medicine is your food” (Hippocrates)