Tel Hai, Israel-based marine ingredient start-up Yemoja, has opened the doors of its new plant dedicated to the production of high value microalgae. The facility is located within the historic mountains of the scenic Upper Galilee region of Israel, is now fully operational.
The company already has brought production up to speed to meet the new volume of orders coming mainly from the global nutraceutical and cosmeceutical sectors.
Yemoja cultivates microalgae customized to fit functional food, nutraceutical or cosmetic applications. The company utilizes high-precision, fast-track photobioreactor technology, setting what it says is a new gold standard for microalgae production and sustainability. Indoor cultivation operates in a next-gen, closed, contaminant-free system that maintains absolute control of key parameters such as temperature, pH, light, and CO2 emissions with capabilities to produce a broad spectrum of pure algae and in a very tightly controlled environment.
“We built a ‘green’ factory in which we can create and maintain the ultimate conditions for any known microalgae species, yet with zero dependence on external environment and weather,“ explains says Erez Ashkenazi, COO and co-founder of Yemoja. “Our indoor system generates exceptional yields with proven reproducibility on a very small plot of land and using minimal resources.”
Yemoja operates a small batch production line structured in a visually intriguing arrangement of vertical luminescent columns known as illis. Each ille is allocated a specific algae species, is completely closed off and isolated from other units to prevent any cross contamination. This facilitates the simultaneous and continuous production of a variety of algae-derived products that can meet the specific requests of customers, maintaining their individualized control irrespective of batch volume.
“Our unique site runs on recycled water and minimal energy. The exploitation of artificial light for photosynthesis limits the need for cooling,” says Ashkenazi. “We meticulously designed the site to meet to the highest standards of operational efficiency in order to minimize environmental impact leaving only a tiny carbon footprint. Our specialty ingredients are cultivated in a chemical-free, all-natural process, with a full respect of our natural habitat.”
The startup set up its first pilot facility in 2017. Following a series of successful proof-of-concept trials in 2018 and a fruitful seed round, Yemoja decided last year to move on to the next phase of opening a first fully fledged manufacturing plant. A few weeks ago, the plant began rolling out microalgae production on industrial scale to meet the new influx of demand.