Bunge to market algae oil

by Jeff Gelski
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Solazyme Alga Wise algae oil
Bunge will market Solazyme’s microalgae oils and butter through an expansion of their joint venture agreement.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Bunge will market Solazyme’s microalgae oils and butter through an expansion of their joint venture agreement, the two companies said Oct. 30. The companies also agreed to expand their co-funded research programs to include products in nutrition and specialty fats.

Bunge’s global food oil sales and applications teams will market AlgaWise ultra omega-9 fatty acid algae oil, AlgaWise high stability algae oil and AlphaWise algae butter structuring fats. Bunge will handle oil processing and supply chain aspects of commercialization. Manufacturing will take place at the joint venture’s facility in São Paulo, Brazil, that is adjacent to Bunge’s Moema sugarcane mill.

“Strengthening our relationship with Solazyme gives us a differentiated product offering in specialty food and feed ingredients,” said Soren Schroder, chief executive officer of White Plains-based Bunge Ltd. “With Solazyme, we believe we are bringing true innovation and enhanced sustainability to the global food industry. These healthier algae products have tremendous potential to make a positive impact in nutrition and functionality for our customers around the globe, and we’re excited about the potential to broadly commercialize them.”

Soren Schroder, Bunge
Soren Schroder, chief executive officer of Bunge Ltd.

AlgaWise ultra omega-9 fatty acid oils are more than 90% monounsaturated fats and less than 4% saturated fat. An alternative to oils with high levels of saturated fat, they provide shelf-life stability and culinary performance while having a high smoke point, according to the two companies.

AlgaWise high stability algae oils are more than 87% monounsaturated fatty acids and 2% polyunsaturated fat. They offer oxidative stability and a neutral flavor while having 0 grams of trans fat per serving, according to the two companies. They have been shown to work in industrial frying, spraying/coating, pan spraying and blending. The oils have been shown to allow food manufacturers to remove added preservatives in such foods as dressings and mayonnaise and to remove partially hydrogenated vegetable oils completely.

The AlgaWise algae butter should become available to the U.S. market in 2016. Its composition and functionality mirror structuring fats such as shea stearin, according to the two companies. The algae butter has a high proportion of stearic-oleic-stearic triglycerides (about 70%). It offers a reliable, scalable and sustainable supply for confectionery products, according to the two companies, while it also may be used in baked foods, spreads and other applications.

“Bunge is a leading global agribusiness and food company and has been a strong long-term partner who shares our vision,” said Jonathan Wolfson, c.e.o. of South San Francisco-based Solazyme. “Not only do they have fantastic capabilities, but they also understand the value of both our ingredients and our underlying technology platform. We are very happy to be deepening and expanding the partnership to include Bunge’s global food sales, marketing, and applications strength and presence. This will further enable our algae-based food ingredients to bring great benefits to people and our planet.”

Bunge Ltd., a global agribusiness and food company, operates in more than 40 countries and employs about 35,000 people. Solazyme develops and sells sustainable oils and ingredients, including microalgae.

Bunge made an equity investment in Solazyme in 2010. The original joint venture agreement in April of 2012 established a production plant at Moema in Brazil as well as multiple jointly funded development programs.
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