Resulting from their efforts to find methods to reduce atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, motorbike manufacturer Yamaha Motor, stumbles upon a potential anti-acne and anti-ageing lead compound from a microalgae called Haematococcus algae. The compound, astaxanthin, is a carotenoid pigment compound and is a strong antioxidant.
Its strong antioxidant action is linked to anti-inflammatory activity, and may have a role in strengthening immunity, slowing the aging of skin (age spots and wrinkles) and alleviating muscle fatigue. It is attracting a great deal of attention, not only in the health food market, but in the sports and beauty markets as well.
BlogPicture Astaxanthin is being produced in indoor bioreactors called the “Yamaha High-efficiency Bio Reactor,” using artificial light and advanced fluid control technology. It will be marketed to select businesses within the year, and will also be available to consumers in the form of supplements. According to an article in Times Online,
Yamaha has given samples of astaxanthin to cosmetics companies and a maker of soft drinks, and is busily constructing giant algae factories so that the anti-oxidant can be mass-produced from next autumn.
From bikes to biotech, what next?
As the Company expands its biotechnology business, it is building a Life Science Laboratory on a 37,000 m2 site in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan – scheduled for completion in July. A large-scale production plant will also be built on the site in October 2006 to get mass production underway.
After breaking into the health food market with astaxanthin, the Company intends to continue its commitment to R&D, and further expand its biotechnology business.
Read more of Yamaha’s biotech program and astaxanthin here.
Photo: Newly developed Yamaha High-efficiency Bio Reactor, from Yamaha Motor