Title: “Sustainable Production Of Nutrients For Pets & People”
Guest: Deena Sitisky – Phytosmart
Interviewers: Nathan Gobes – Radio Entrepreneurs, & Peter Myerson – Author & Retired Attorney
Click here to read the transcript
Welcome back Radio Entrepreneurs, listeners, and fans. I’m producer Nathan Gobes excited to be back in the virtual studio here with you filling in for Jeffrey Davis this morning by my side is my trusty co-host for today. Peter Myerson author and retired attorney. Welcome Peter.
It’s great to be here, Nathan. Thanks for having me. I know you’ve got big shoes to fill.
Yeah. I don’t know what size shoes Jeffrey wears, but since they’re his, so they’re big to fill.
I don’t think he’s, I don’t think he’s wearing shoes these days, so
Yeah, slippers mostly, but I want to introduce our next guest Dina Sisitsky CEO of Phytosmart. Welcome Dina.
Thank you. I’m very pleased to be here.
Yeah, we’re pleased to have you. I would love to start with just getting an idea. Tell our listeners about Phytosmart, what it is you and the company do.
Dina (1m 0s):
So we founded Photosmart in 2016 and prior to that, my partner and I had been working with algae on the energy side of things. And we were after the oil market went upside down, we were looking for higher value opportunities with algae and focused on nutritional benefits of certain species of algae and started to investigate different ones.
Dina (1m 41s):
And we came up with a species of algae that is a high net producer of omega-3 DHA. That is docosahexaenoic acid, one of the essential omega-3 fatty acids and the most important to make a three fatty acid. And we decided to pursue developing that. And in the process initially, we had expected to extract oil just like everyone else does. But the difference is directly from algae rather than from the fish that eat the algae, which is where the no, no more fish oil has come from.
Dina (2m 27s):
And algae species of ocean algae are the only producers of omega-3 or of the two ocean-based omega three fatty acids, EPA and DHA during the course of our development. And we had our patents awarded on our bio-reactor system on April 5th, we had an aha moment and that was why are we trying to extract the oil like everyone else? When we can, with our technology preserve the algae’s natural metabolic enzymes that allow it to produce DHA, we can preserve them active and intact.
Dina (3m 13s):
And that is our major departure from the rest of the market. And that is what we have have done. We produce a fresh wholesale biomass of DHA and have preserved the metabolic Daj producing enzymes. And what they do in the body is they multiply the amount of DHA and the enzymes directly convert glucose or sugars to healthy fats. So it stops the accumulation of saturated fats and after decades of eating processed foods with too much sugar, the epidemic that everyone has come to realize that we have of modern illnesses, such as type two diabetes and obesity, to name a few, this can help support rebalancing the metabolism to in many cases, reverse some of these lifestyle brought about conditions, if you will.
Nathan (4m 29s):
So is this a product, oh, sorry, Peter, is this something that you’re developing designed for consumer use for, for pets? Where’s the, where’s the final product intended for?
Dina (4m 43s):
So phyto smart, the company holds the technology to grow this type of algae, which, which are I have called heterotrophic algae. So rather than this is not algae that grows in the sun or with the sun, which would be phototropic algae. This is algae that requires nutrients to grow. So it’s a little more biotech than Aqua culture per se, but every multicell organism can benefit and requires DHA.
Dina (5m 23s):
We are selling first in the pet market and have products planned for ornamental or aquarium fish for farm animals, for horses and for humans.
Peter (5m 42s):
So, so this is, I mean, DHA is the stuff that’s in salmon that we’re all supposed to eat, you know, six days a week. Why did you choose the pet market as opposed to the human market
Dina (5m 59s):
Thinking lower hanging fruit
Nathan (6m 4s):
Dina (6m 6s):
In terms of, in terms of regulatory compliance and dollars and just everything. And once we stabilize in our pet market, will we will, we will introduce additional market segment products.
Peter (6m 25s):
So what is your background? Are you a nutritionist, a scientist? How did you get here?
Dina (6m 33s):
So I have an MBA in an entrepreneur entrepreneurship and my background was, or is in pharmaceutical marketing and emerging technologies marketing. And I have a lifelong interest in nutrition because I believe we are all products of what we eat. We are what we eat and that just doesn’t only go for us, but it goes for the animal world too. And nutrition, the older I get, the more, the more precious proper nutrition becomes to me And should to everyone.
Nathan (7m 23s):
No, and that’s, that’s definitely true. And, and like you said, true for, for pets as well, would you say that this is a product only for pets that are unhealthy? What, what would you say to somebody who says, oh, my pet is healthy. I they’re totally fine. I don’t, you know, why would I need this?
Dina (7m 43s):
Then I would say, think about whether your pet’s going to be healthy and five as healthy in five or 10 years. And if your pet is ailing, for sure. But if your pet is healthy, it’s an apple a day protective prevention.
Peter (8m 2s):
So how do you see the company growing? What, I mean, do you have investors? You know, what’s the process.
Dina (8m 12s):
Yep. So my co-founder and I put, you know, invested in the company. We have some angel investors and we’re actually in a capital raise now to yeah. To raise money, not only for CapEx expansion, huge sales and marketing push, and also to accelerate the human application.
Nathan (8m 50s):
And I understand that you’ve already won a number of awards for, for your innovative and pet products. Do you want to tell us about those?
Dina (9m 3s):
So by global publications last year, we were won the distinction of the most disruptive pet nutrition product or 2021. And we’re very proud of that. And in this year, we were just awarded most innovative pet nutrition product because you know, the, the fish oil market, if you will, is $10 billion plus, and we’re just not another fish oil or not just another fish oil.
Dina (9m 48s):
We, we are a more highly bioavailable. So fish oil is in a form that has to be converted in the body to be able to be used. We are in the same form that DHA already exists in the body. So the term, you know, we’re more, more able to be readily used in the body. And also with the advantage of the enzymes, you know, we were exponentially better than what you can currently buy in the pet food Isles.
Dina (10m 33s):
Also in the, in January of this year, the UK guardian newspaper published an article that 11 out of 12 brands of fish oil. And they tested globally. They tested in countries all over the world were oxidized, meaning they’re not only rancid, but the, their toxicity, they can be toxic to any cell membranes that they cross in the body. And this news has been in the scientific community for a number of years, that as soon as you open the package of fish oil supplement, it starts to oxidize.
Dina (11m 20s):
And, but it’s never crossed into the main stream. So now everyone will be able to understand that fish oil is, is just not good for you. And we protect against oxidation even to the point where we packaging individual daily servings in a material that was developed during the space program for Nat, by NASA to be an oxygen barrier material.
Nathan (11m 50s):
Wow. Wow. That’s fascinating. And honestly, everything you’re doing is, is very, very exciting, very fascinating if listeners or viewers want to find out more about Fido, smart, want to get in touch with you, maybe see how, if they’re an organization looking to get involved in the funding rounds, how could they do so?
Dina (12m 13s):
So we have two websites. We have Fido smart.com and I can be reached at Dina that’s D E N email@example.com. And there you can learn about our technology and, and then zip Zyme Z I P Z Y M E omega.com is our website for our inaugural product. Is it Simon mega? And I, again, can be reached at Dina at zip Simon, omega.com.
Dina (12m 54s):
You can also purchase zips on through that website.
Nathan (12m 59s):
Excellent. Well, I want to thank you for, for joining our show today. It was great to have you and also Peter
Dina (13m 10s):
Got the word out.
Nathan (13m 12s):
Oh, of course. Happy, happy to help Peter Meyerson author and retired attorney. How can people reach you or find out about your book or book in progress if they’re interested?
Peter (13m 27s):
Well, the port can progress. They’ll have to wait until it’s finished. They can. Anybody wants to find me, confined firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you go to amazon.com and you type in my name in the search bar, you’ll get my novel and you can actually read parts of it before you have to buy it. You know, Dino was great listening to this it’s sounds like a very important product, so we’ll do our best to get it out.
Nathan (14m 5s):
Thank you. And this has been another segment with radio entrepreneurs.
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