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Squid's in: Norwegians push new omega-3 source

By Shane Starling , 11-Feb-2010

Norwegian start-up Pharma Marine Group has launched a branded version of the squid-sourced omega-3 form it is marketing on its green credentials.

Calamarine is the name Pharma Marine has given to the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)-laden ingredient it began producing in May, 2009.

While the global DHA/EPA eicosapentaenoic acid) trade group, GOED, maintains fish-sourced omega-3s for human use are no threat to the environment because they are typically the bi-product of the fishmeal industry, Pharma Marine is proclaiming its green prowess, along with its high-DHA status.

“Calamarine omega-3 oils offer a highly sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative,” the company said.

Years of research

NutraIngredients.com was not able to contact the company before publication but president, Leif Gjendemsjø, said in a statement:

“Calamarine represents the culmination of years of research to discover a sustainable Omega-3 source that would provide a more potent and efficacious fatty acid composition. We set out to create a sustainably sourced marine DHA ingredient that would be competitive with other marine DHA sources. To be able to say that we have now succeeded is really satisfying to me and the entire Pharma Marine team.”

The company is based in a part of Norway where about 40 per cent of the world’s high-grade omega-3 is sourced, and began producing squid-sourced omega-3s in May last year.

Pharma Marine recently signed a deal with Missouri-based CardioTabs, an entity established to manufacture supplements in 1999 by a group of cardiologists, so supply its ingredients for a range of omega-3 supplements.

CardioTabs spokesperson, Michelle Kruse, said the ingredient was marginally cheaper per gram of DHA and EPA than the fish oils it sourced, while containing higher levels of DHA.

CardioTabs is promoting the supplement, which also contains 400IU of vitamin D in a two soft-gel serving, as being able to benefit cardiovascular health, brain and eye health, and maternal/prenatal health.

Competitive

Adam Ismael, the executive director of Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED), said squid was seen as, “a competitive source to tuna and algal oils” that had a good sustainability story to it.

“It is a new source of omega-3s, and there are very few products using squid oil so far.”

Product introductions have included a juice in Argentina containing 100mg of DHA/EPA per 100mL and Purity Products DHA Super Boost, a dietary supplement with 900mg DHA and 90mg EPA on the US market.

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