Tuesday, 01 November 2016 00:00

Omega-3 oil concentrates for the booming healthcare market

Marine Ingredients is a recognized specialist in the field of biological marine substances, and has produced omega-3 fish oil supplements/ preparations of the highest quality for health and organic food stores, industrial processors and the non-prescription pharmaceuticals market since 1984. The range of omega-3 products from Marine Ingredients ranges from small soft gel fish oil capsules that are taken daily as a dietary supplement, through bottled fish oils to large batches in 190 kg drums.

Marine Ingredients’ processing plant in Brattvaag currently employs nearly 50 people.

As a vertically integrated company Marine Ingredients has direct access to specially equipped local fishing vessels and can rely on wild-caught ingredients in high quality from Norwegian waters. Particularly important are cod, saithe and haddock, whose MSC certified catches are used almost 100 per cent for this sector. Already on board the ships high quality raw oils and hydrolysates are recovered from fish waste. Modern technology and enzymes are used to achieve this without the need for heat which ensures the highest quality and greatest possible care of the ingredients. To meet the growing demand, raw oils are additionally purchased from other regions of the world, especially omega 3-rich anchovy oil from the Southeast Pacific.

The operation in Brattvaag is equipped with the latest technology for concentration and purification of the raw oils. The facilities are licensed by the Norwegian Medicines Agency and are subject to constant controls. Originally, the company for natural fish oils, medium concentrated omega-3 fatty acid and finished fish oil preparations belonged to the BASF Group. In November 2014 it was then, however, sold to Marine Ingredients in the course of a strategic reorientation which with this acquisition significantly expanded its expertise in the omega-3 range which is considered the company’s core business. The acquisition meant that Marine Ingredients can serve customers throughout the world even better with customized omega-3 products. Through specific cooperations within the Legasea project the company wants to strengthen its expertise and market presence further.

Every single production batch is tested for more than 400 environmental contaminants and impurities.

Marine Ingredients’ omega-3 fish oils, which are sold under the brand name BioMarine, are free of the unpleasant tastes and odours that prevent many consumers from taking such preparations. CEO Sveinung Hellem assured us that every single batch is tested organoleptically before delivery by a professionally trained expert panel: "The unpleasant taste and bad smell of some fish oils puts a lot of consumers off. So we eliminate the responsible substances to attract more people and improve access to healthy fish oil ". Fresh fish oil is almost odourless and tasteless. However it oxidizes and tastes rancid when it comes into contact with oxygen and light or is heated. The extent of oxidation is visible in the so-called "totox-value" (anisidines & peroxides). As from values over 10, fish oil tastes increasingly unpleasant, it is absorbed less well by the body (reflux), and may even be harmful.

A wide range of measures from the selection of the raw materials through processing under nitrogen to prevent contact with atmospheric oxygen, to thorough controls ensures at Marine Ingredients that the fish oil products are of the highest purity and free from contaminants and pollutants from industry and agriculture. Each batch is tested for more than 400 environmental pollutants (pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and furans).