Meeting the rising demand for botanical sources of omega-3
French marine lipid expert Polaris has taken the potential of fish-free omega-3s to a new level with Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 — a European algal oil that’s not only pure, natural, sustainable and vegetarian, it’s also exceptionally stable.
Here Véronique Sancéau, Marketing Manager at Polaris, explains its many advantages for manufacturers.
All around the world, demand for omega-3 ingredients is growing, and so too is the requirement for vegetarian and sustainable products. As such, the appeal and potential of vegetal, ecologically produced, sources of omega-3 are obvious.
“Algal oils, such as our exciting new Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 offering, is derived from microalgae — the original source of omega-3 and, in fact, life itself,” says Véronique. “These photosynthetic micro-organisms appeared on Earth more than 2.5 billion years ago and scientists estimate that there are greater than 100,000 different species, only a few hundred of which have ever been studied.”
Microalgae offer a wealth of physiological and biochemical properties and produce a wide range of naturally beneficial substances, including pigments, proteins, enzymes, polysaccharides, amino acids and vitamins. Most importantly, they provide omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from a vegetal source, allowing suppliers to respond to market trends and offer both consumers and manufacturers greater choice.
Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 is obtained from Schizochytrium sp. microalgae that are cultivated in a strictly controlled ecological environment.
It is extracted using an entirely natural, solvent-free, water-based enzymatic process and subsequently subjected to Polaris’ high-tech, cutting-edge refining and purification process, which eliminates any potential traces of residual contaminants to the extent that they are undetectable.
The whole production process — including fermentation, extraction and refining — takes place in Europe and is completely eco-friendly. Produced from sustainable sources of microalgae, Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 is suitable for vegetarians and vegans; it’s non-GMO, free from allergens, and guaranteed not to contain toxins.
Nutritional oils, whether they’re extracted from fish or algae, are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are highly sensitive to oxygen, heat, light and exposure to metals.
“However,” says Véronique: “Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 benefits from Polaris’ unique Qualitysilver process, making it ultra-stable. This patented technology, specially designed for algal DHA, guarantees constant levels of DHA, guards against oxidation and prevents the degradation of PUFAs. This ensures that the nutritional and organoleptic qualities of Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 are better preserved and assimilated.”
Polaris has subjected Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 to the Rancimat test, which, based on induction time (or oxidation stability index), determines the resistance of fats and oils to oxidation by exposing them to heat and increased volumes of air (Figure 1). The results showed it to be four times more stable than standard algal oils, including tocopherols, which means that its nutritional, flavour, aroma and mouthfeel qualities are perfectly preserved, and its shelf-life optimised.
Figure 1: Omegavie DHA algae demonstrates its resitance to oxidation
Pure and stable vegetarian Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5, available as an oil for softgel capsules or other galenic forms, is ideal for use in the dietary supplement market. “That’s because dietary intakes of DHA are widely acknowledged to offer a range of general physical and mental health benefits in different areas,” notes Véronique.
One of the most important of these is eye health. DHA, a major dietary omega-3 long chain PUFA, is also a major structural lipid of retinal photoreceptor outer segment membranes; DHA deficiency is associated with structural and functional abnormalities in the visual system. DHA increases mitochondrial activity and has anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and antiangiogenic effects. It can also alleviate dry eye symptoms by decreasing the tear evaporation rate.
DHA is also abundant in the brain. It is an important component of neural membranes, constitutes 30–40% of PUFAs in the grey matter of the cerebral cortex and is the main polyunsaturated fatty acid of brain lipid structure. It is involved in multiple brain functions, including cell membrane fluidity, receptor affinity and the modulation of signal transduction molecules.
Numerous scientific studies confirm that DHA omega-3 has a role to play at every stage of life, making it perfect for inclusion in a wide range of health supplements. It is known to be essential for foetal growth, neural and retinal development; for children, from toddlerhood to adolescence, it’s required for brain growth and development.
It is also strongly recommended for pregnant women, particularly during the last 3 months of pregnancy, and for breastfeeding mothers. In older people, DHA can boost memory and improve mood, focus and sleep.
Omegavie DHA-algae oil guarantees high quality for a range of food applications, including dairy products such as milk and butter, bread, children’s breakfast cereals and nutritional seasoning oils. Its exceptional stability against oxidation allows a longer shelf-life, and protects aroma, taste, and other important qualities.
“Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 represents a major step forward in the history of algal omega-3,” enthuses Véronique.
“As a vegetarian, vegan, GMO-free and sustainably produced European source of omega-3, which offers health benefits at every stage of life, and is suitable for use in a range of products, it meets pretty much every requirement that consumers and manufacturers might have,” she adds.
“But what really sets Omegavie DHA algae Qualitysilver 5 apart from other algal oils is its unparalleled resistance to oxidation. By allying quality and green credentials with ultrastability, it truly represents the algal oil of the future,” Véronique concludes.