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Slimming and Memory-Booster MIcroaLgae Extract

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SMILE for weight loss and memory boost

A new food supplement ingredient for weight management and sustained cognitive function – SMILE – is being extracted and formulated by a unique process from specially selected marine microalgae.


© microphyt
With EU funding for the project SMILE (Slimming and Memory-Booster MIcroaLgae Extract), the French start-up Microphyt has developed and produced a new flagship product, also known as SMILE. “Control of the whole process from A to Z including marketing ensures optimal sustainability and cost-effectiveness,” points out Vincent Usache, Microphyt CEO. Tests for safety and efficacy a priority Application for the authorisation of SMILE ingredients, screened for nutritional composition and toxins, was submitted to the European Commission at the end of 2018. Overall results demonstrated the robustness of the SMILE process and the safety of its ingredients, taking into account compliance with current legislation. Microphyt has also successfully conducted preclinical studies on mice to confirm the efficacy of the pool of active molecules in SMILE – marine xanthophylls and omega-3 fatty acids – that act in synergy at several levels of brain function. The power of a SMILE Production of active ingredients occurs in unique tubular 5 000-litre-capacity photobioreactors. The closed cultivation system ensures total control of inputs and the absence of external contamination. After biomass harvest, freezing and drying, the green extraction process completes valorisation. SMILE ingredients are a carefully balanced formula of three independent fractions. Active ingredients – xanthophylls and omega-3 fatty acids – are dissolved in the matrix, based on natural coconut oil. A natural antioxidant is added to protect the active molecules from oxidation and extend the shelf life of the product. Research by Microphyt product manager Dr Antoine Delbrut established cost-effective and eco-friendly parameters for co-extraction of fucoxanthin and the polyunsaturated fatty acids. A paper has been published in the journal Molecules. Patents filed and marketing in full swing Microphyt has already started to prepare for the arrival on the market of the SMILE ingredients by assembling relevant market tools. To date, 20 potential customers have been visited and Microphyt continues to communicate with other possible clients via its website and international exhibitions. Two ingenious methods relating to the ingredients have been patented during the SMILE project. In the first, management of light availability for each microalga cell during culture increases the accumulation of secondary pigments up to twice the concentration quoted in literature data. The second patent deals with the use of SMILE ingredients and their specific composition to prevent cognitive disorders in humans and animals. Among these, cognitive decline with age and cognitive alterations induced by prenatal stress can occur over an individual’s lifetime. As demonstrated in the preclinical model, SMILE ingredients provide significant improvement in cognitive functions such as short-term memory. SMILE of the future Researchers are ready to follow up on the European application and answer any questions from the European Food Safety Authority. For the American market, the New Dietary Ingredients file is in progress. Testing for efficacy continues full steam. This year, several ingredients from the SMILE range will be tested in a series of eight preclinical studies on different applications, including additional studies on cognitive maintenance and weight management. The most promising extract-application combinations will be selected for a clinical study panel to confirm the beneficial effects on humans.


SMILE, memory, microalga, weight management, cognitive function, xanthophyll, omega-3 fatty acids

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 726799


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 August 2016

  • End date

    31 July 2019

Funded under:




  • Overall budget:

    € 2 614 115,75

  • EU contribution

    € 1 780 028,60

Coordinated by: