Norwegian Research Council funds new omega-3 and omega-7 technology

GC Rieber Oils and Innolipid have received funding to develop a unique technology for omega-3 production from Norwegian raw materials

Image as seen on GC Rieber Oils website

GC Rieber Oils and Innolipid have received funding from The Research Council of Norway to develop new technology for omega-3 from Norwegian raw materials. The goal is to develop a completely new and unique technology to produce both omega-3 and omega-7 from Norwegian raw materials.

The project has a total budget of NOK 12 million ($1.28m), of which the Norwegian Research Council supports 50%. GC Rieber, located in Kristiansund, is the project owner and shall lead the collaboration with Innolipid and Orivo, located in Ålesund and Molde respectively.

The project launches 2020 and will have a duration of 3 years.

The global export market for omega-3 is expanding within the health food, functional foods and beverages segment and within the pharmaceutical segment. More raw materials will be required in the future and the Norwegian sourced ones have an unreleased and untapped potential, however, this raw material requires new technology in order to be utilised more efficiently.

Recent research is no longer just looking at the relationship between omega-3 and health, but also at other fatty acids

Omega-7 also appears as an interesting fatty acid from marine oils. Palmitoleic acid, which is also found in marine oils, has shown to have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance.

“We are very pleased that the Norwegian Research Council supports our project in competition with many others for these funds. It is an important work to develop new technology in order to be able to use Norwegian locally raw materials. We are also pleased that the project is supporting the omega-3 cluster in Møre og Romsdal, since it represents companies from all three cities in the same county,” said Jan Roger Bjerkestrand, CEO of GC Rieber Oils.

“Increasing demand for omega-3 puts greater pressure on the most interesting raw materials, and therefore the new process will not only look at utilising Norwegian raw materials as a supplement to South American raw materials, but also at designing the new process such that it will obtain even more health-promoting products from the same raw material, such as omega-7”, said Asgeir Sæbø, CEO of Innolipid AS.

R&D Manager and CTO at GC Rieber Oils, Bente Foss, explained that recent research is no longer just looking at the relationship between omega-3 and health, but also at other fatty acids that are affecting health.

“In order to utilise more oil fractions from fish in the development of health-promoting products, the industry requires new technology. This new technology will in turn make us better equipped to handle other types of raw materials in the future,” said Foss.

GC Rieber Oils is a Norwegian producer of fish oil omega-3 concentrates. Innolipid is an R&D supplier located in Ålesund, which has grown from groundbreaking work in the concentration of omega-3 on an industrial scale. Orivo is a supplier of analyses for documentation of the origin of raw materials in marine oils and fishmeal products.

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