The infant formula oils made by US-based Martek Biosciences, have been reviewed and passed by Canada's government health agency, Health Canada, reported the company this week.
The Health Canada action applies only to Martek's oil blend, found in its Dhasco and Arasco oils for infant formulas, and does not extend to any other sources of DHA and ARA. As a result of this action, once infant formula manufacturers satisfy Health Canada's pre-market notification procedures relating to infant formula, products containing Martek's oils will become available in Canada.
Martek's oil blend contains two long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), both of which are found in mother's breast-milk. These substances have been demonstrated to be important building blocks for the developing brain and retina of infants.
Currently, infant formula containing Martek's oil blend is sold in over 60 countries by various infant formula manufacturers that are licensees of Martek. In the US, infant formulas with this oil blend are offered by Mead Johnson (Enfamil LIPIL) and Abbott Laboratories' Ross Products Division.
Henry Linsert, chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, which develops products from algae, said: "We are pleased to see this positive trend in infant nutrition extend to Canada."
The favorable letter issued to Martek by the agency is available for review on the company's website..
Other Martek products include nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may promote mental and cardiovascular health.