DHA is an important nutrient for growth and development of human, animal and fish from youth to elder. DHA does not only improve the growth of babies and young child??ôs brain, retinal development, but also prevents cardiovascular disease, depression, Alzheimer??ôs disease and other chronic diseases. Therefore, a successful research on DHA-rich microalgae by Dr. I-Min Chen, an Assistant Professor of NCKU and co-investigator of research project on ???DHA producing microalgae strain - BL 10??? has pounded great significance to the development of human health and medicine. As getting scarcer and scarcer in ocean fishes and marine animals, a conventional supply of DHA, an invention in a new source of DHA is important not only to ecological conservation of ocean, but also to supply a large number of vegetarian ethnic foods by algae from the plant.

Moreover, in the conventional extraction and fermentation method of DHA from fish oils, a risk in mercury or other chemical pollutants is somewhat difficult to be avoided, as well as provision of clean and pollution free DHA is hard to be achieved. This new discovery from DHA-rich microalgae definitely improves the quality of health food products and the health of all people; moreover it will be absolutely the best substitutes of fish oil in the future.

In addition, The AABM Team has won the Best Poster Award with topic ???Isolation and characterization of Taiwanese Thraustochytrid species: screening of strains for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) production??? in the conference of Aquaculture Europe, September, 2008. This is the first time to receive the award of Aquatic Bio-tech research area in Taiwan. ???Indeed, the contamination, such as alkyl mercury and dioxins, commonly found with DHA production stimulated us to search for new ways to produce DHA???, said Prof. Chen.

Recently, to cope with the drastic changes that are taking place in the global economy and enhance Taiwan??ôs industrial development, Taiwan government announced a plan to make a budget of NT$ 42 billions to develop medicine and health care, biotechnology industry, through a special program as ???Diamond Action Plan for Biotech Takeoff???. That is, the biotechnology and heath care related industry have become more and more important emerging industries in the world.

SOURCE National Cheng Kung University