The NAXA industry group promotes Haematococcus pluvialis algae astaxanthin as natural and more beneficial than synthetic astaxanthin ingredients.

The NAXA industry group promotes Haematococcus pluvialis algae astaxanthin as natural and more beneficial than synthetic astaxanthin ingredients.

Astaxanthin suppliers, specifically suppliers of Haematococcus pluvialis-derived astaxanthin, may soon be able to take advantage of a new certification program being created by the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA). The industry group founded itself last year in an effort by its members to draw distinction to Haematococcus pluvialis algae astaxanthin, which the suppliers deem natural and more beneficial compared to synthetic astaxanthin ingredients.

Longtime dietary supplement industry member Scott Steinford, who this past summer was named the new president of NAXA, says that the association is now in the process of drafting quality standards for algae biomass that will eventually feed into a verification program and seal that the association plans to roll out in Q1 2016.

The quality standards will cover points such as assays, processes, CGMP standards, and impurities. These qualitative and quantitative standards and test methods will not only address adulteration but also “assure finished product manufacturers and consumers that the astaxanthin they are purchasing is natural astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis,” NAXA says. The program will be called the Natural Astaxanthin Verification Program (NAVP).

According to Steinford, the process of developing the standards is one reason the association has been delayed in increasing its membership, which so far is limited to four companies: founding members Cyanotech (Kailua-Kona, HI), Algatechnologies Ltd. (Kibbutz Ketura, Israel), and Fuji Chemical Industry Company, Ltd. (Toyama, Japan), as well as new member Beijing Gingko Group (BGG), based in China.