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Amazonian omega-3 Inca oil wins EU approval

By Shane Starling , 08-Jan-2013

Plukenetia volubilis - source of Inca Inchi virgin oil
Plukenetia volubilis - source of Inca Inchi virgin oil

An omega-3 rich oil from the Peruvian Amazon has won EU Novel Foods approval in all foods and food supplements and is being distributed in the European Union by French firm Perles de Gascogne (PdG).

Inca Inchi virgin oil (derived from the seeds of Plukenetia volubilis) also contains omega-6, alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, vitamin C and carotenoids and is being marketed by as a premium plant-sourced omega-3 oil to supplement, food and table oil sectors.

Perles de Gascogne general manager Christophe Merle told us the oil would sell for about €25/kg, a little more for an organic version. Perles de Gascogne distributes almond, plum, hazelnut and walnut oils.

Carole Kohler, from RNI Consulting which works with PdG, said in addition to Peru, Inca Inchi oil was already available in other South American countries, the US, Switzerland, Japan and China.

Substantial equivalence to linseed oil

But EU Novel Foods approval has been a long time coming after PdG and the Peruvian producer, Agroindustrias Amazonias, first applied for EU approval in 2005 via the French authority.

They reoriented that application via Ireland in May last year and won approval for substantial equivalence to linseed oil from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on November 26 just gone.

The FSAI concluded Ina Inchi oil was similar to linseed oil, “in terms of composition, nutritional value, metabolism, intended use and the level of undesirable substances…”

Agroindustrias Amazonias has an omega-3 project which it says seeks to join, "farmers, private companies, universities, local and regional governments, and any other that may contribute to its development."

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