Solabia-Algatech launches algae beta-glucan ingredient for immune health

The ingredient is a whole-algae source of Euglena gracilis.

Solabia-Algatech Nutrition (Kibbutz Ketura, Israel) has launched an algae-sourced beta-glucan ingredient for immune support called BioGlena. The ingredient is a whole-algae source of Euglena gracilis. The company says the beta-1,3-glucans in E. gracilis are “specifically recognized by immune-cell receptors.”

A proprietary fermentation process ensures BioGlena has a high beta-glucan content of greater than 55%, the company says. Solabia-Algatech says the beta-glucan content of Euglena gracilis can vary, depending on growth conditions and medium composition, but that its multi-patented process ensures a consistent beta-glucan concentration. Processing is done without solvents or additives. The ingredient also contains protein and essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.

“Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides known for their positive effect on the immune system, with more than 12,000 scientific papers published in the past few decades,” said Doron Safrai, CEO of Solabia-Algatech Nutrition, in a press release. “While grains, yeast, and certain fungi are traditional sources of beta-glucans, researchers and formulators are increasingly recognizing E. gracilis as a significant high-value source.”

“In E. gracilis, the beta-glucan molecules are concentrated inside free-floating granules inside the algae, as opposed to fungi and yeast sources in which the powerful polysaccharides are bound to the cell wall,” said Omer Grundman, PhD, vice president, R&D, for Solabia-Algatech Nutrition. “This eliminates the need for harsh extraction procedures to isolate the beta-glucans. BioGlena contains the whole algae and no cell wall, allowing the beta-glucans to be naturally released in the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. This is a major advantage of E. gracilis over other beta-glucan sources, opening the door for BioGlena to become a leading immune-support ingredient.”

BioGlena is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and is supplied in a powder that is suitable for dispersible formulas. It can be used in dietary supplement pills, tablets, and gummies, as well as food and beverage products.