Under the newly announced agreement, Norway's Denomega becomes the exclusive supplier of EPA and DHA oils to Austrian GAT's functional food ingredients business, which is founded on its patented microencapsulation technology.
Danomega, for its part, can now use GAT's microencapsulated products in its own products, which it plans to market worldwide through its existing sales and distribution network.
Until now Denomega's fresh oil has been added directly to all products that allow an oil inclusion. It is suitable for fresh products such as milk without the need for processing, thereby improving the ingredients list.
Jan Haakonsen, VP sales and marketing at Denomega, explained to NutraIngredients.com last month that the key difference between Denomega and other oils is that it uses a patented cold process extraction and keeps the oil fresh. Although it is not microencapsulated, he said it does not have to be: freshness means the end product is not tainted by a fishy taste or smell.
However there is a need for some processing technology when the oils are used in baked goods such as bars and cereals, and that is where the collaboration with GAT comes into play.
The two companies combined their materials and expertise to come up with Denomega powder that is especially suitable for baked goods or those where a dry mix is required, and Denomenga 3 stable liquid emulsions, which can be used when in challenging applications when a long shelf-life is required, or where omega-3 has to co-exist in the finished product alongside iron or copper.
Both companies boast sales to multinational companies, with their respective offerings being incorporated into dairy and bakery products and juices. They have worked together since 2004, but the new agreement "represents the solution to what our most challenging food and beverage customers need," said Haakonsen.
The two parties have hammered out any overlaps in existing markets, with Denomega being the exclusive distributor in some markets, such as the United States.
Microencapsulation has emerged as the method of choice for maintaining stability for fish-derived omega-3 through oft harsh processing and shelf-life, thereby preventing the food product from becoming tainted with a fishy taste and smell.
Several different methods for microencapsulation are out there - such as that offered by The Wright Group and Ocean Nutrition's Powder-loc system. Last month Denomega announced a distribution agreement with S Black to push its oils in the UK market food, beverage, health care and nutraceuticals sectors, where it had not previously succeeded in gaining a foothold.