Expansion sees pioneering biotech company MiAlgae launch omega-3 product, NaturAlgae 

13/04/2023
Rebecca Skorupska

LEADING biotech company MiAlgae has officially launched its omega-3 product NaturAlgae to market thanks to recent expansion of its commercial production site at Balfron, near Stirling.

MiAlgae recycles the co-products from the Scotch Whisky industry, like pot ale, as a feedstock to grow omega-3 rich microalgae which can then be used as a nutritious fish feed and pet food ingredient. 

The company’s pioneering manufacturing process aims to reduce global reliance on billions of wild-caught fish, the traditional source of omega-3.

Following the installation of eight new bioreactors at Balfron to the north of Glasgow, MiAlgae will soon be producing 100s of tonnes of nutrient-rich omega-3 powder per year. 

NaturAlgae is a dry powder with a high concentration of DHA and other oils which can be easily added to recipes for pet food and aquafeeds, providing the well-known health benefits that omega-3 provides.

This is the beginning of an exciting new phase for MiAlgae, which has headquarters in Edinburgh, as it continues to develop commercial relationships with customers across the petfood and aquaculture sectors.  

With final commissioning underway, the vessels will enable MiAlgae to boost production capacity almost immediately with a growing waiting list of customers.

Douglas Martin, MD and Founder at MiAlgae, said: “This expansion of our commercial production site marks a huge milestone on our journey to champion the circular economy. With the addition of our new equipment, we are now able to take our product to market at a meaningful scale with significant headroom to grow. 

“We are lucky to have a highly experienced and passionate team who share our vision of a more sustainable future. Huge thanks go to them for their hard work in getting to this exciting point.”

Using the outputs from a single distillery, MiAlgae’s technology has the potential to save 80k tonnes of CO2, recycle 14.4m litres of water and protect tens of thousands of tonnes of fish annually.

Earlier this year, MiAlgae announced its partnership with Falkirk Distillery to drive forward a greener and more efficient whisky industry. The agreement will see Falkirk’s whisky co-products transported to MiAlgae’s site where it will be used in MiAlgae’s processes. 

Douglas Martin continues: “We’re committed to scaling quickly and have plans to work closely with a number of distilleries across Scotland where we can co-locate MiAlgae’s technology with the distilleries, creating an on-site water recycling solution for the distillery, and a greater production capacity for MiAlgae. This will allow us to expand rapidly and make a very real stride towards the sector’s environmental goals.”

To help drive its planned expansion, MiAlgae has appointed Polly Douglas as Business Development Manager. 

Polly joins the company with strong expertise in aquaculture and nutrition and recent experience in the biotech start-up world. She joins MiAlgae from gas-fermentation company, Deep Branch Biotechnology Ltd. where she was responsible for managing a portfolio of multi-million-pound grant funded projects. Previously Polly managed funding for several industry-lead research projects when at the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) in Stirling.

Discussing her new role, Polly said: “Having 20 years of experience ranging from innovation management, nutrition and aquaculture, this role helps me to consolidate my expertise and support the commercial activities at MiAlgae. 

“Joining at this exciting time, as production is increasing and our technology is proven, it’s great to be able to get out there and engage with customers. My role will be to identify strategic partners and future development opportunities, as well as develop an  understanding of additional products in as yet un-identified markets.”  

Welcoming Polly’s appointment,  Douglas Martin said: “It’s great to have Polly on board at MiAlgae. She joins us at a time where we are making strides to full commercialisation of the technology.  With her breadth of experience, Polly’s know-how will be invaluable in helping us to achieve our growth aspirations.” 

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