"At this moment, there are no products containing high concentrations of [the antioxidant] hydroxytyrosol that can be used in lipophilic [oil-based] products," said Genosa I+D. Genosa's Carlos Peña told NutraIngredients.com that the product, a clear solution, will be mainly used in lipiphilic products, like healthy oils and lipid- (omega-3) containing supplements. Hydroxytyrosol is thought to be the main antioxidant compound in olives, and believed to play a signficant role in the many health benefits attributed to olive oil. Research by a team from the University of Barcelona found that LDL or 'bad' cholesterol levels could be cut substantially after consuming just 25 millilitres of virgin olive oil daily for one week. Other studies have suggested that it could also protect against cancer. The new ingredient, Aquolive FS, is said to contain between five and nine per cent natural hydroxytyrosol extracted from olive fruit, four per cent mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) and four per cent ascorbic acid (vitamin C). According to the company, the ORAC (antioxidant activity) value of Aquaolive FS samples containing a six per cent hydroxytyrosol is 5,060 micromoles per gram, said to be 15 per cent higher than the ORAC value of pure vitamin C. The active substance is contained within product micelles on the nanoscale, giving a solubilisate with solubility in both water and fat media. Normally the human body must convert nutrients into product micelles before it can use them. By delivering them ready-micellised, the technology cuts down on the amount that would otherwise be lost in the conversion process. "It would be very important in volumes since it would be applied in vegetable oils and omega 3 applications," said Pena. Indeed, according to recent trials from the Spanish Fat Institute, addition of 160 ppm of hydroxytyrosol as Aquaolive FS to purified fish oil increased the stability by more than eight times (from 2 to 16 hours), while addition of the same amount to purified commercial fish oil (containing tocopherols), increased the stability by more than 20 per cent (from 22 hours to 27 hours), said Genosa. "The combination of omega-3 and natural hydroxytyrosol is a promising solution for dietary supplements, functional foods field and preservation of vegetable oils," said Genosa.