Epax to take approved high concentrate omega-3 Down Under

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid Epax

Norway's Epax has announced it has gained approval from Australia's
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to provide high
concentration omega-3 to the Australian market.

This is said to be the first time that high concentration omega-3 oils have been granted approval in Australia, and the announcement has been hailed as a "breakthrough"​ by Epax's Ove Wikstrom.

"It is important that we got registration because the Australian market has been waiting for this,"​ Wikstrom told NutraIngredients.com.

The announcement comes after 18 months of work with its Australian distributor Pathway International, said the company. The approval will allow Epax's range of omega-3 oils to be used in complementary medicine products in Australia.

And by gaining the approval Down Under, seen by many as the gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, the Norwegian omega-3 producer may soon be expanding in that area, too.

"Epax is always looking for new markets, new business areas,"​ said Wikstrom, and that could potentially include the planets two most populated countries, India and China. The Norwegian omega-3 producer currently has nothing in these markets, but they remain, he said, "something of interest."

The company's main market is Europe, followed by the USA.

"The demand for omega-3 fatty acids is continuing to grow on a global basis,"​ said Bjorn Refsum, CEO of Epax.

Indeed, Frost and Sullivan/ Euromonitor report that the omega-3 market in Europe alone was worth around €160m (£108m) in 2004, and is expected to grow at rates of 8 per cent on average to 2010.

Such growth is fed by ever increasing consumer awareness of the proposed health benefits, which have linked the polyunsaturated fatty acids to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health, behaviour and mood, and certain cancers.

For 2005 the average growth in the omega-3 industry was 8.7 per cent, well below the 25 per cent growth that was reported by Epax at the start of March.

"We are pleased customers in Australia will now have access to products from Epax, as the company is known as one of the world's leading suppliers of omega-3 concentrates,"​ said Refsum.

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