Alltech Builds Algae Plant, Expands Production in Latin America
[SAO PEDRO, Brazil] – Within the framework of an expansion strategy for the Latin American region, Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition leader, commenced construction this week on an algae production plant on the same premises as Alltech Sao Pedro, the largest yeast plant for animal nutrition in the world. This new $63 million investment in Brazil will generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs, and it will increase Alltech’s Latin America production by 58 percent.
“The company’s experience with its first algae manufacturing plant in Kentucky has been a great success, and this is the reason for making the investment in Brazil,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech’s vice president for corporate affairs. “People are looking for something different, and algae are critical for conquering new markets. The future of nutrition lies in functional foods, and we are determined to meet the increasing global demand for DHA omega-3 on the farm and at the market.”
There are two types of algae: autotrophic and heterotrophic. The former requires sun for photosynthesis and for the production of energy; the latter uses oxygen in the environment for their development and production and do not need any light. Alltech produces heterotrophic algae, grown in closed stainless steel fermenters. This production practice allows for total control of the process, ensuring traceability, consistency and strict contamination control.
“Algae are incredibly powerful tools that accomplish positive changes by improving animal and human nutrition through eggs, meat, milk, and other DHA omega-3 enriched products,” said Becky Timmons, technical director at Alltech Algae in Winchester, Kentucky.
Algae, with a considerable proportion of DHA omega-3, offer a whole range of possibilities: healthier and more productive animals, increases to farmers’ profits, as well as improved human health through DHA-enriched functional foods. In humans, DHA omega-3 is related to enhanced cognitive function and learning ability in children, including benefits for children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, DHA omega-3 improves the health of adults by lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases, and lessening severity of depression. Moreover, replacement of DHA from fish oil by algae-derived DHA in fish diets may help develop more sustainable aquaculture.
“In view of the growing world population, we are certain that algae will play a key role in animal and human nutrition,” said Guilherme Minozzo, Alltech’s vice president for Latin America. “We seek to develop trends, address needs and surprise our customers with innovations that help them in their endeavor to feed the world in a sustainable manner.”
Alltech also announced this week the expansion of its production capacity through the acquisition of a new 7,300m² plant in Indaiatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. In the new facility, the company will specially manufacture nutritional solutions for beef and dairy cattle, in response to the increasing regional demand and to support the production capacity of the nine plants that Alltech currently has throughout Latin America, particularly Alltech’s plant in Araucaria, Brazil. At this latter facility, the company has recently doubled the production of one of its leading products, Optigen®, Alltech’s non-protein nitrogen source for ruminants.
With this new acquisition, the company is planning to close 2014 with a sales growth of around 27 percent in Latin America.
“Agribusiness requires technologies for enhanced utilization of natural resources and improved animal performance. For this reason, all our investment efforts in science and technology are aimed at improving the health and well-being of our animals, meeting the demands of the consumer and protecting the environment. The Indaiatuba plant is no exception,” Minozzo said.
“The location of our new production facilities in Indaiatuba expands our reach more effectively. From Brazil, Alltech exports to all the rest of the countries in Latin America and to over 80 countries around the world. This investment located close to the major maritime port in Brazil, provides us with an exit door into an increasingly efficient and sustainable world,” said Simone Cavalli, Alltech’s operations director for Latin America.