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Euglena, from algae to food, biofuel and beyond

Exploiting the huge versatility of Euglena gracilis compounds, Euglena Corporation is mass producing algae based products, attempting to create a carbon cycling society in the process. In 1998, Mitsuru Izumo, at that time a first-year student at the University of Tokyo (Todai), went to Bangladesh. His first encounter with poverty and malnutrition sparked his will to try and find a solution. He later met Kengo Suzuki, a student at the faculty of Agriculture in Todai conducting a research project on Euglena gracilis, a microscopic photosynthetic protist displaying both animal and vegetal features and nutrients. Euglena’s potential in terms of nutrition was appealing to Izumo, but researchers had been working on it for more than 50 years with no success in its mass cultivation. And yet, 7 years later, in 2005, Euglena Co., Ltd. achieved the world’s first outdoor mass culture of Euglena. By August 2005, Izumo had founded the company with Suzuki, whose post-doctoral research was the reason of this success, and Takuyuki Fukumoto, a professional in functional foods sales. By December, the first samples of mass-cultured Euglena powder were produced. […]

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