Microalgae D. salina, D. salina
D. Salina is a unicellular biflagellate red-coloured alga which synthesises massive amounts of carotenoid pigments, colouring the cells a very bright red.
Michel Felix Dunal first discovered "D. salina" in 1838. It was first sighted in the saltern evaporation ponds of Montpellier, on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. It was 67 years late, in 1905, that it was finally named by the Romanian botanist and scientist - Emanoil C. Teodoresco.
Marine Dunaliella species are commonly observed in salt lakes in all parts of the world from tropical to temperate to polar regions where they often impart an orange-red colour to the water.
D. salina was first cultivated for its beta-carotene (B-carotene) content in the USSR in 1966 but it was the first and second oil shocks of the 1970’s that focussed attention on D. Salina as an alternative feed stock for liquid fuels and the replacement of petroleum based chemicals.
At the same time, there was considerable interest both in Australia and abroad to continue what the Russians had started, by farming D. salina for its B-carotene. Science company Roche was maintaining a D. salina research programme at its Institute of Marine Biology in Dee Why NSW, which suggested that the biosynthetic route might have advantages. One of these advantages could be the rising consumer preference for ‘natural’ over ‘synthetic’ food additives; the main market for B-carotene being as a colourant and pro-vitamin A compound.
Although B-carotene can be synthesized or extracted from other natural sources such as carrots, D. salina is still the richest and best ‘natural’ source of this carotenoid. The extreme saline environment in which D. salina grows also makes the open-air large-scale culture of this algae much easier compared to other unicellular algae. The use of the B-carotene as a food or feed additive and a nutritional supplement means that a high-quality product is required. This means that great care must be taken in the extraction and formulation steps.
On a gram for gram basis, D. salina is arguably the most concentrated, nutrient rich food source on earth and it sits at the bottom of the food chain.
D. salina is nature’s richest source of dietary beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids. It contains the important 9-cis beta-carotene isomer which is one of natures most powerful antioxidants. It also contains the important all-trans beta-carotene isomer that can be converted to the safe and non-toxic pro-vitamin A. Of the 600 carotenoids discovered so far, only beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin possess vitamin A activity
It contains a comprehensive spectrum of natural vitamins (especially B12), minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids (DHA/EPA), carbohydrates, polysaccharides, and other phytonutrients. It is a rich source of antioxidants and free radical scavengers. It is also a good source of magnesium, electrolyte minerals and chlorophyll (a great detoxing agent).
D. salina contains a potent mixture of the most important carotenoids, including: B-carotene, A-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Carotenoids are also naturally found in some fruits and vegetables and are considered one of the most important daily nutrients for people to consume every day.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the TGA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
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