Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told NutraIngredients.com that they are working on developing a proto-type of chewable capsules containing marine oil.
Omega-3-containing products have experienced massive growth in recent years backed up by research that has linked the fish oils to a range of health benefits.
Recent reports have also linked omega oil intake to improving behaviour, learning and attentiveness in children. However children generally dislike the taste of liquid cod liver oil or find it difficult to swallow the soft gel capsules, leading some companies to develop and commercialise omega-3 formulations that are targeted for youngsters, like Equazen Nutraceuticals' eyeq smooth formulation delivered in a tropical fruit-flavoured emulsion.
"People eat less fish now than earlier and since it is important from a nutritional point of view to have marine oils in your diet this is just another way to administer these oils," said the scientists.
The new development is based on using fish gelatine to create a chewable capsule, although technical details are not available due to the pending patent that has been filed in January in the UK, in conjunction with a Norwegian company.
The scientists could not reveal formulation details, including doses of omega-3 fatty acids, but said that the as much as possible of the fishy taste would be removed from the product as possible.
"Many persons who do not like fish are not able to drink the liquid cod liver oil and chose capsules - if you can't swallow the capsules you do not have an alternative," they said.
"The new capsules is designed like a "candy" to make sure children will eat them."
Last November Ocean Nutrition Canada also announced that it has developed the technology to add omega-3 to chews without them tasting fishy, and broadened out its ingredients-only business model to supply them on a bulk basis.
The European omega-3 market was worth around €160m (£108m) in 2004, says Frost and Sullivan, and is expected to grow at rates of 8 per cent on average to 2010.