Watch: Scottish biotech startup looking to sustainable omega-3 production

September 27, 2022 - 2 minutes

Established in 2016, Edinburgh-headquartered MiAlgae says there is a global threat to oceans caused by overfishing to supply omega-3 oil for human and animal consumption. This prompted the development of a solution through the circular economy. 

Labiotech visited the company recently to find out more about its operations.

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Using its biotech platform, MiAlgae uses co-products from the food and drink sector as feedstocks to grow microalgae rich in omega-3 oils. These can be used as a sustainable source of omega-3 and antioxidants. This can eliminate the reliance on wild-caught fish as a source of omega-3, reduce CO2 emissions and prevent the loss of ocean ecosystems.

Earlier this year, the company secured investment of £2.3 million ($2.8 million) to help drive the next stage of its growth.

Plans are already in place to commercialize other high-value compounds and pigments through expansion of the platform.

MiAlgae’s growth plans

The investment will support the company in its growth plans. These include the completion of a commercial demonstrator facility near Stirling, which will drive MiAlgae’s expanding commercial traction. 

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Initially, the company is focused on the pet food sector with an eye on expansion into the aquaculture sector in the near future. Aquaculture is the largest consumer of fish oil produced globally, which is used in fish feed.

The investment will also help grow the team at MiAlgae and increase its expertise. Ten new posts, including a head of engineering and commercial director, will be created.

Douglas Martin, managing director at MiAlgae, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to know that our investors see value in the biotechnology platform we’ve developed to tackle the production of omega-3 oils in a commercially viable way.

“Our process is championing the circular economy and the investment we have secured will be transformational in helping MiAlgae scale quickly both locally and abroad. 

“Our commercial demonstrator plant, due to be completed early in 2023, will help us improve food security globally, while our research department continues to drive the development of exciting, commercially viable biotech innovations.”

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