Essential Ingredients

Meet Udaya Wanasundara, PhD, CFS, Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Algarithm, Ritual’s Omega-3 Supplier

3 min read

Essential Takeaways

  • DHA can be grown sustainably from a wild strain of algae to provide a vegan option for Omega-3.
  • Algarithm’s proprietary water-based extraction process uses food-grade enzymes to harvest Omega-3 DHA, avoiding harsh chemicals for processing.
  • Algarithm has pioneered a delivery method that makes Omega-3 DHA undetectable to your taste buds.

Can you tell us a little about Algarithm?

Algarithm has Omega-3s figured out. We provide DHA with minimal taste and odor sourced from unmodified, plant-based origin using a clean, environmentally-friendly extraction process. What it means is a high-quality algal oil delivering delivering 330mg of DHA in Essential for Women and 350mg of DHA in Essential Prenatal.

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We hear so much about fish when we talk about Omega-3 sources. Why a vegan DHA oil?

With increasing demand placed upon oceanic resources and an ever-growing population, sophisticated customers know better than to rely solely on the ocean to meet Omega-3 needs.

Yet many plant-based Omega-3s only offer high levels of short-chain alpha-linolenic acid, a less active form of Omega-3s that requires conversion by the body into biologically relevant DHA. This conversion process is inefficient and often rendered ineffective by essential fat imbalances which typify the Western diet, such as high Omega-6 intake. Fish happen to excel at this conversion, but so do certain strains of algae - the original source of Omega-3s. At Algarithm, our carefully cultivated Omega-3 DHA is grown sustainably from a wild strain of algae, grown in optimal conditions to maximize Omega-3 output. We’ve got Omega-3s figured out.

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Can you explain why your Omega-3 is less risky than fish oil?

Fish tend to have high levels of heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium) and pesticides (DDT, PCB’s, dioxins, furans, etc.) that are known toxins and carcinogens. We take a different approach - our proprietary algal cultivation and processing protects our Omega-3 rich oils from environmental contaminants or pollutants. Using a fermentation process similar to beer or kombucha making, we maintain an impeccably pure closed environment, specially created to maximize Omega-3 output. Whereas ocean-sourced Omega-3s have to undergo many purification processes to remove the environmental contaminants ubiquitous in seawater, we simplify things by never exposing our algae to contaminants in the first place. Our proprietary water-based extraction process uses food-grade enzymes to harvest Omega-3 DHA, hence avoiding harsh chemicals for processing.

What is unique about your product?

Without question, the number one impediment to increasing Omega-3 intake is known as the compliance issue - people need and want Omega-3s, but are often put off by the texture, delivery methods, and aftertaste. At Algarithm, we’ve pioneered novel delivery methods to deliver plant-based Omega-3s that are undetectable to your taste buds, yet still pack a seriously potent punch of Omega-3s. In addition, our proprietary water-based extraction process uses food-grade enzymes to harvest Omega-3 DHA, hence avoiding harsh chemicals for processing, guaranteeing a pure and sustainable ingredient.

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Where is the microalgae naturally found?

Did you know Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia has the highest tides in the world? For microalgae growing in that area the accumulation of starch and/or lipids reserves as a byproduct of photosynthesis is considered a survival mechanism in response to growth-limiting stresses, such as high tides. Initially discovered and isolated from pristine coastal waters at the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, our natural microalgae strain offers high levels of Omega-3 without compromising nature’s perfect formulation.

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How safe and sustainable is your microalgae fermentation?

Algarithm provides sustainable, plant-based Omega-3s that register meaningfully in the body and bring peace of mind for those seeking Omega-3s exactly as nature intended.

Fish oil, the primary source of Omega 3, is increasingly seen as unsustainable. In a plunge to the brink of collapse [1], marine fish population has reduced 50% globally between 1970 and 2010 due to exploitation (overfishing), habitat degradation/loss and climate change impacts. In addition fish tend to have high levels of heavy metals and pesticides that are known toxins and carcinogens. Eliminating fish as a source of Omega-3 is our humble attempt to conserve the delicate ecological balance for future generations.

In addition, whereas ocean-sourced Omega-3s have to undergo many purification processes to remove the environmental contaminants ubiquitous in seawater such as heavy metals, pesticides, and plastic, we simplify things by never exposing our algae to contaminants in the first place. Our proprietary water-based extraction process uses food-grade enzymes to harvest Omega-3 DHA, hence avoiding harsh chemicals for processing, guaranteeing a pure and sustainable ingredient.

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