Pronounced “eee wee”, the company says it got its name from a Maori word that means “tribe”. The nickname is meant to convey the idea that people are all a tribe and that food companies must work towards a more sustainable future.
iWi is the platform on which Qualitas brings its finished products to the market. Qualitas now has algae farms in Columbus, NM and Imperial, TX. Both have similar properties for access to brackish groundwater unsuitable for other farms and abundant sunshine. Qualitas was initially based in Israel and later in Houston. The first farm was the West Texas site, but flooding and other production issues raised the company to the need for backup production.
Experienced partners mate
The current CEO, Miguel Calatayud, was hired after the flood disaster of 2015, in which the management of the company was fundamentally revised. Last year, Qualitas partnered with commercial plant producer Green Stream Farms to expand to the New Mexico site previously operated by algae company Sapphire Energy.
“When I took over over two years ago, my strategy was to bring products to retail,” Calatayud told NutraIngredients-USA. “I’ve always been in retail. I used to oversee the production of 700 million pounds of vegetables that were being sold in retail stores. “
iWi has launched four new products based on its algae oils.
The new products are based on the company’s proprietary manufacturing technology, which uses a strain of the photosynthetic algae species Nanochloropsis oculata, resulting in an EPA-rich oil bound in a unique glycolipid form.
“IEi is the platform on which we will achieve our primary goal of delivering finished products,” said Calatayud. “We have focused on scaling and now have two full production facilities.”
The new products contain both EPA (from the original component of Qualitas, Almega PL) and DHA based on algae oil. The iWi branded product ‘Omega 3’ contains 151 mg EPA and 100 mg DHA in 850 mg algae oil. The company’s information includes gluten-free, non-genetically modified, vegan and sustainably managed products.
In addition to the vegan and sustainability messages, Calatayud believes the products are functionally superior as well. He said that research the company has done in the past on the Almega PL ingredient – a source only for EPA – showed that the uptake of EPA in the bloodstreams of the ten participants was greater than that obtained with krill oil.
“We are the only omega-3 product that contains both phospholipids and glycolipids,” said Catalayud. The company uses the admission study, This was confirmed by the well-known omega-3 expert Dr. Philip Calder PhD from the University of Southampton in EnglandTo support the claim “Higher absorption than fish or krill oil”. The products are available on Amazon and cost $ 30 per bottle for one month in the daily dose of 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also sold in Sprouts Farmers Market stores and Vitamin Shoppe outlets.
Calatayud said the seaweed oil products are the short-term game, but a host of other products are on the horizon as well. The company’s algae biomass is nearly 40% protein, so algae protein products will hit the market sometime in 2019, he said.
Join us on June 26th for our FREE Omega-3 Forum
NutraIngredients-USA has an online forum for the Omega-3 Universe scheduled for June 26th. The forum will deal with sustainability issues, new product forms such as vegetarian or algae forms of omega-3 fatty acids, the market situation and the latest science in the industry. The speakers include GOED Managing Director Ellen Schutt, Johnathan Napier from Rothampsted Research and Dr. William Harris from the University of South Dakota. Please contact us for more information on this FREE panel Click here.