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Production of Polyunsaturated Acids (DHA) by Using Microalgae

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The Aquatic Animal Bio-Medicine R&D Team (AABM Team) of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan, led by Distinguished Prof. Huey-Lang Yang from Institute of Biotechnology, won two medals out of more than 100 teams in the national contest, “2009 Crazy Idea – King of Practical Applications on Creative Researches and development of Biotechnology,” organized by the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan. The AABM Team was awarded with a gold medal for their work called “Aquaculturized Aurofac” and a bronze medal for their project on “Production of Polyunsaturated Acids by Using Microalgae.” They will receive their medals from the Minister of Economic Affairs on October 15th. The main objective of this contest is to encourage any creative idea in Bio-Medicine R&D among college students, and to produce more industrialized products along with fostering development of biomedical industry in Taiwan. NCKU Aquatic Animal Bio-Medicine R&D Team was also awarded with two gold medals last year. This is the second consecutive year for them to win the

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“Production of polyunsaturated acids by using microalgae” was awarded with a bronze medal under supervision and direction of Prof. Yi-Min Chen. The team members included a PhD student – Ms Chin-Chiu Lin and two other master students, Mr. Chun-Wei Tseng and Mr. Tsung-Yuan Chen. They discovered native strains of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich microalgae, and developed a successful extraction procedure of DHA, which could be regarded as a breakthrough in human healthcare and development in medicine. 

DHA is commonly known as a kind of fish oil (Omega 3). It is an important nutrient for growth and development of human, animal and fish. DHA does not only improve the growth of babies and young child`s brain, retinal development, but also prevents cardiovascular disease, depression, Alzheimer`s disease and other chronic diseases.

Therefore, a successful research on DHA-rich microalgae has proved of great significance to the development of human health and medicine.

This new discovery from DHA-rich microalgae definitely improves the quality of health food products and the health of all people; moreover it will be absolutely the best substitutes of fish oil in the future. It can be supplemented to food, milk, feed, and many other products with the annual revenue totaling more than 7 billions dollars. The DHA-rich microalgae technology has been transferred and leased to VEDAN Biological Material Business.

Source: Reuters

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