13 November 2018

THE ART OF HARVESTING

Organic Wild Microalgae® is a powerful natural occurring superfood that is harvested in one place in the world, Upper Klamath Lake, in Southern Oregon. The lake is situated in a region defined by its history of volcanic activity—a legacy that has left an abundance of minerals that help the Wild Microalgae thrive in its unique environment.

The harvesting process is a fine art that protects the integrity and nutrient profile of this delicate microalgae. New Earth has been harvesting Wild Microalgae since 1983. Over the years, we have employed several different methods of harvesting, ultimately perfecting the process that we now employ using state of the art equipment.

This process begins with gathering the microalgae from the lake with three different harvesters. Throughout this process, the Quality Control (QC) department collects and analyzes samples of the lake biomass (the organisms within the sample area), and once favorable test results are completed, harvesting proceeds. The lake harvesters collect the Wild Microalgae and immediately clean and de-water it. The QC department performs pre and post-harvest analyses on samples of the Wild Microalgae to ensure that only high-quality microalgae is harvested.

Once the highest quality Wild Microalgae is harvested and de-watered it is pumped into a self-contained unit that chills it to around 34°F in about 30 seconds. This process takes place at the harvest site as it is important to chill the Wild Microalgae so that sensitive pigments, such as chlorophyll, and other important components do not begin to break down.

The Wild Microalgae is then pumped into tanks on our transport boats. These tanks are reusable, washable, food-grade tanks that are filled directly from the cooling unit. The transport boat rapidly delivers the chilled algae to a land-based port, where it is loaded onto a tanker truck.

These trucks are insulated stainless steel tankers that are staged at the port to transport chilled “liquid microalgae” to our production facility where it is processed through vibrating screens to remove any larger particles before being sent to the plate freezers.

It takes about two hours to freeze the microalgae at a rate of 10.8 gallons per minute and is frozen at 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Samples are retained throughout the process for in-house R&D testing along with third-party testing.

The product is stored in the freezer as it awaits the drying process. The microalgae is dried via a low-temperature spray-drying process called Bioactive Dehydration™ that preserves phytonutrients. Testing indicates that the quality of this drying system is superior to freeze-drying, especially for heat-sensitive components such as vitamins, chlorophyll and enzymes. Because the algae is dried at temperatures below 40C, it qualifies as a “raw food,” an important distinction to many health-conscious consumers. The drying process also meets the guidelines for both organic and kosher certifications.

Our harvesting, processing, production, quality control, storage, and record-keeping operations are carried out according to current Good Manufacturing Practices established by the Food and Drug Administration. The Oregon Department of Agriculture audits our facilities for GMP compliance two to four times a year.

Our Wild Microalgae has been certified organic since 2001 and our harvesting, processing, handling, and packaging of Wild Microalgae are certified by Pro-Cert Organics, Canada Incorporated according to the requirements of the USDA National Organic Program and OC/PRO Canadian Organic Standards. Pro-Cert Organics, Canada audits our facilities, processes, and records annually. Kosher certification is performed by Star-K Kosher Certification and Halal certification is performed by IFANCA.

As you can see, harvesting Wild Microalgae is quite a detailed process, which includes extensive testing (via both in-house and third-party testing) at multiple points of processing, as well as certification from several reputable certifying agencies. All this to ensure that you are receiving a safe, high-quality, nutritional product!