New Zealand’s Nutrition From Water accelerating scale-up of microalgae-based whey to launch in Japan, Europe and US

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Nutrition From Water (NXW) is preparing for launch of its microalgae-based whey in various markets. ©Nutrition From Water
Nutrition From Water (NXW) is preparing for launch of its microalgae-based whey in various markets. ©Nutrition From Water

Related tags New zealand Whey microalgae Functional ingredients

New Zealand-headquartered biotech firm Nutrition From Water (NXW) is scaling up production of its microalgae-based whey for multi-market launch within the next 12 months, with first targets set on Japan, Europe, and the US.

Its rebranding from NewFish​ follows the announcement of New Zealand Olympian and SailGP sailor Pete Burling’s investment in the firm.

Backed by global biotech investors, including IndieBio, Katapult Ocean and SOSV, NXW has offices in Auckland and San Francisco, and is building a coalition of nutritionists, chefs, innovators, sports ambassadors and partners to grow a “whole new” nutrition category.

The firm sources from pristine bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, thermal springs and oceans, and leverages non-extractive marine science to protect natural ecosystems.

Its first product, Marine Whey, utilises proprietary microalgae that is said to preserve biodiversity in marine and living water ecosystems during their production cycle.

There are currently two varieties of the functional ingredient, namely Marine Whey 50 and Marine Whey 80, with the numbers referring to the protein concentration they contain.
“What’s remarkable about them is that unlike any other non-animal source, they have all the essential amino acids that the human body needs, including branched-chain amino acids, and whose nutrition profile is very similar to dairy.

“Moreover, it is so efficient to produce— the microalgae used doubles in size in just two days, enabling scalability, price stability, and supply security. And it can be produced without destroying the earth and oceans like traditional nutrition does,” ​Toby Lane, CEO of NXW, told NutraIngredients-Asia​.

NXW aims to bring Marine Whey to market within the next 12 months.

“We will be making it available to our priority customers in the US and Japan as early as the end of this calendar year. Right now, we are focused on getting first supply up and running. Then, we want to scale that with our first coalition partner or go-to market manufacturing partner that will most likely be in Europe.

“We are also having conversations in Japan to distribute there over the next couple of years. Beyond that, we want to replicate the production model around the world and make ‘nutrition from water’ a regular part of diet for not just a few elite athletes, but also millions of everyday consumers across the globe.”
The company has identified two major areas with growth opportunities in Japan, Europe and the US, specifically advanced nutrition and affordable nutrition.

Advanced nutrition includes sports nutrition, aged care, and nutrition for consumers who really care about protein quality and performance.

“We see strong growth in the US, Japan, and European markets for this type of products, and Marine Whey 80 would be the right fit for this trend.”  

On the other hand, affordable nutrition refers to day-to-day situations where people want great nutrition at “a price point that makes sense”.

“What we are really excited about is that Marine Whey is priced such that it can be an everyday food for people all over the world, from athletes in North America to people living in developing nations across Africa, South East Asia, South America, etc. Marine Whey 50 is most likely going to be the product that supports the affordable nutrition category.”

NXW Bars_Marine Whey™-01
©Nutrition From Water

Versatility in application

Marine Whey claims to be allergen-free, have a high digestibility score, and come with a neutral sensory profile that complements a wide variety of ingredients without affecting odour, flavour or aftertaste.

Its ability to be spreadable, foamable and blendable also extends its application potential.

“We want to make it accessible to people in everyday foods, be it noodles, ice cream, protein bars or ready-to-mix beverages. There are lots of different applications that we are looking at,” ​Lane shared.

So far, Marine Whey has been tested in several flavoured protein bars, including caramel peanut and a chocolate brownie version containing about 21% protein.

It has also been applied in Mozzarella cheese and fat-filled milk powders, with more in the pipeline.

“The plan is not to make and launch consumer products directly, but to enable nutrition and food companies with application support. Because this is such a new space, we have a lot of patents around the in-use applications.

“For customers that come to us and want to build the category with us, we will work with them to integrate our technology and product into their existing supply chains, so they can take advantage of the rights to the applications as well as cost-efficiencies.”

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