Parry Nutraceuticals (a division of EID Parry and part of the Murugappa Group), located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, South India, has announced a Joint Venture with Synthite Industries Ltd., of Cochin, on the southwest coast of India, to create a value-added algae company. The 50-50 JV will leverage on Parry Nutra’s spirulina cultivation strengths and Synthite’s extraction capabilities, making it a good strategic fit according to the partners.

Parry Nutraceuticals will focus on the human nutrition segment and Synthite Industries on the food colors and additives segment. Spirulina is an established nutritional health supplement in India, and is the flagship product of Parry Nutraceuticals.

The Joint Venture company will set up a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu with an investment of around Rs. 40 crores ($6.28 million USD) for the production of phycocyanin, a natural blue pigment extracted from spirulina. Phycocyanin offers excellent stability and flexibility for application in a variety of food and beverages and is approved by major regulatory bodies in the US, EU, Japan and South Korea as a food color.

Aju Jacob, Director, Synthite Industries said, “Our partnership will offer our customers a high quality, sustainable, supply of phycocyanin blue. Our leading edge technology will allow us to qualify our product as a natural ‘Coloring Food’ for European markets and as a certified Organic product for the US market. We will also explore emerging opportunities in algae extracts for the global health and wellness industry.”

Speaking about the Joint Venture, Muthu Murugappan, Business Head of Parry Nutraceuticals said, “To start with, we will be focusing on extracting phycocyanin from spirulina. In due course, we will be looking at other avenues within the microalgae segment, thereby building the business to a company with a diversified value-added algae portfolio.”

As a leader in phytoextracts, Synthite’s extraction technologies include solvent-based extraction, CO2 extraction, and more recently mechanical extraction using its proprietary Straights process. Parry Nutraceuticals has more than two decades of experience in cultivation and processing of microalgae-based nutraceuticals including organic spirulina, astaxanthin, organic chlorella and other phytochemicals.