American animal feed and food company Alltech has closed its DHA omega 3-rich algae production facility in Kentucky in an attempt to optimise operational efficiencies.

The company said the closure of the plant, located in Winchester and with a production capacity of 9,000-13,000 tonnes/year, was brought on by a need for more flexibility and less constraint in terms of its algae production, Feed Navigator reported.

Susanna Elliot, head of communications at Alltech, said the plant had served as a pilot plant for innovations in animal nutrition and that the company intended to continue these activities elsewhere.

“Alltech has several options available for production. We can continue to deliver our algae solutions to our customers through our available stock while we finalise our ongoing production plans,” said Elliot.

Alltech had used the Winchester facility to produce high-DHA omega 3 algae for aquaculture and animal feed applications.

“We believe that our DHA omega 3 algae is a critical component to the future of animal nutrition. We will continue our research and development efforts in algae. We are also forging ahead to gain US Food and Drug Administration approval for our algae in poultry and pet feed in the USA, following our successful approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency late in 2016,” Elliot said.

Alltech purchased the plant in 2010 from Martek BioScience – which is now part of DSM – and began algae production in 2011.