Chief Business Officer of Heliae,USA
Title: Potential Aquaculture Applications for a Novel DHA-Rich Microalgae
Len S. Smith holds the position as Chief Business Officer of Heliae. Heliae is an applied microalgae research, development, products and technology provider based in Arizona, USA. Mr. Smith has been with Heliae since 2014. Prior to his current role at Heliae, he held management and leadership positions with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the USA. He holds degrees in biology, environmental science, and business from leading US universities.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, have been demonstrated to have critical roles in both fish and human nutrition. Increasingly, fish products are sourced from farmed fish. However, many farmed fish have been demonstrated to lack the omega-3 fatty acid content of typical wild fish counterparts. Moreover, in a period where consumers increasingly wish to obtain healthy dietary components, such as DHA, from fish, as compared to from dietary supplements, the amount of DHA in fish has reportedly fallen. Most omega-3 sources used in feed today are not efficient at achieving optimal DHA:EPA ratios as microalgal sources, as these traditionally used sources usually have relatively high amounts of EPA to DHA. DHA-rich microalgae can provide an alternative tool for feed formulation, one that allows feed formulators a way to supply precise amounts of DHA into the feed. In addition, the DHA in microalgae DHA is naturally encapsulated, providing a more stable source of DHA. Heliae has sourced a novel DHA-rich microalgae and developed a production technology that will allow this product to be widely available to the aquaculture industry.