A. We grow our microalgae from a local strain of H. pluvialis in pure mountain water in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.
We grow the algae in above ground photobioreactors (stainless steel tanks with artificial lights) so that we can control the conditions in which the algae grow and keep them healthy and free of contamination. Some other brands grow their algae outside in large ponds or in glass tubes. We think we are able to produce a more consistent product because we can fully control the conditions.
We use a mild natural extraction process which uses a vegetable oil to gently extract the astaxanthin from the algae at moderate temperatures. We do not use harsh chemicals in this process. Other brands need to dehydrate the algae first and extract their astaxanthin using a process call Super Critical CO2 (Carbon dioxide) in which they blast the algae with liquid CO2 (elevated temperature and pressure). Some astaxanthin in China is extracted using solvents such as ethyl acetate or acetone as part of the extraction process. We think the natural extraction process is better. We compare our natural extraction methods versus other chemical or solvent based extraction methods as being like the difference between fresh squeezed orange juice vs orange juice from concentrate. When it comes to food and supplements, alive and natural is better than dehydrated and treated with chemicals.