In 2009, the global animal feed market was estimated at 600 million tons and is expected to grow at a robust pace driven by increased consumption of meat due to improving income levels, especially in the developing countries. The other factors expected to influence the global animal feed industry include rising feed grain prices, health and food safety issues, and environmental issues. Producers are increasingly becoming concerned about animal health and are shifting towards feed that has higher protein and vitamins, and are progressively using more feed additives.
Algae cake is an excellent source of nutrients because of its high protein content, sometimes as high as 50-60% of dry matter. It is also a rich source of carotene, vitamins C and K, and B-vitamins. The algae cake is price competitive as compared to other feeds, environmentally friendly to produce compared to corn, which is difficult for cattle to digest. When algae cake is mixed with trace amounts of astaxanthin, livestock also demonstrate increased fertility rates. Due to these benefits, algae are being increasingly adopted in the animal feed industry.