In 1978, the first of many extraordinary accidents occurred which led to a significant discovery and advancement in the research of the algae and its growth technologies. One night, the lights in the hydroponic basin – known as the bioreactor, were left on by mistake, exposing the algae culture to light for a longer period of time. The next morning, the algae color had changed from its usual dark green to a new reddish tint – the color of beta-carotene. The algae had increased in beta-carotene content because of the overexposure. This simple discovery led to many more experiments applying various changes to the base environment, such as light exposure, temperature, turbulence, nutrients, and duration of exposures.
These experiments resulted in the controlled increase or decrease of various combinations of nutrients in the algae: alpha and beta-carotene, sodium, zinc, selenium and several beneficial vitamins and minerals.
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