AKRON, OHIO - A number of new ventures, funded with millions of dollars by large oil companies and major investors, are growing algae to produce biodiesel, jet fuel and other biofuels. Many of these processes use fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) to "feed" their photosynthetic algae, which as a side effect could help reduce global warming. But a potentially greater advantage from using fossil fuel CO2 to grow algae is that it can create a wide variety of safer, less radioactive foods that could reduce risks of cancer and even slow the aging process.

Most people are unaware that every type of food we currently eat is measurably contaminated with a particular radioactive material from the air known as carbon-14, or radiocarbon. These radioactive atoms get permanently incorporated into the DNA of every child's body and brain cells as they grow up, and will cause tens of billions of genetic damage events in every person over their lifetime. This genetic damage may be an important factor in cancer and the aging process.

But the carbon dioxide obtained from burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas at power plants, or from limestone in cement manufacturing, is virtually free of radiocarbon. It can be used to grow algae for making safer, less radioactive foods.

Most companies currently plan to grow algae primarily for its lipid or carbohydrate content for use in biofuels. The leftover protein component of algae is unusable for biofuels, and until now has been considered a low value by-product that could only be sold as inexpensive animal feed or burned for energy.

But algae, when grown using fossil fuel or limestone carbon dioxide in a controlled environment, will be up to 99% free of radiocarbon. Although this makes no difference for biofuels, it dramatically increases the potential value of the protein component when sold for animal feed or use in foods and vitamins for people. Depending on the types of algae grown, this protein may constitute up to 50% or more of the total algae mass.

As algae farming scales up to meet the demand for biofuels, this could result in the annual production of millions of tons of inexpensive low-radiocarbon protein. This algae protein, when used as animal feed, can produce a wide range of low-radiocarbon foods including meat, chicken, milk, cheese, and eggs. Algae protein can also be extracted for direct human consumption in products such as food bars, protein drinks, and tofu-like meat substitutes.

Dr. Chris Williams, a biochemist with Radiocarb Genetics, Inc., has published a paper in the international journal Environmental Chemistry Letters which further explains the interaction between radiocarbon, food, cancer and aging. The complete article is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10311-007-0100-7, or at the company's website at http://www.radiocarb.com.

Radiocarb Genetics, Inc. is developing a variety of affordable low-radiocarbon foods under the trademarks of "Low-Radiocarb(TM)", "BrainGuard(TM)", and "LifeBlocks(TM)," using patented and patent-pending processes that can reduce radiocarbon levels by up to 99%. Children raised on these low-radiocarbon foods will suffer less genetic damage during their lives, which may reduce their risk of cancer and help them live longer, healthier lives.

High-protein drinks, food bars and baby food are expected to be the first major low-radiocarbon nutritional products. These products are expected to have special appeal to health-conscious mothers of young children.

SOURCE: Radiocarb Genetics, Inc.