Northwest picks Tresalbio for omega-3 gummies

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acid

Northwest Natural Products has introduced a novel omega-3 product
format geared directly at children, containing Valensa
International's proprietary chia seed extract.

The Vancouver, Washington-based marketer of nutritional supplements is launching its omega-3 gummy fish with Tresalbio premium extract, a source of the omega-3 ALA, as well as DHA from another source. The product is targeting cognitive health in children, while also maintaining the highest criteria in terms of taste. "When you're making a product destined for use by children, taste is the one issue that cannot be compromised,"​ said Kate Jones, vice president of Northwest Natural Products. "In developing our omega-3 gummy fish, we reviewed virtually every omega-3 source - both fish- and plant-based and Tresalbio was the only one that met our goals for taste."​ The move is unusual in that omega-3 ingredients have been moving increasingly towards marine sources thanks to technology that allows for the masking or hiding of 'fishy' tastes. However, Valensa lauds its chia seed extract as a desirable omega-3 source for human consumption because it is plant-based, has a high omega-3 concentration and a clean taste profile. Tresalbio, introduced last year by Valensa International, is a proprietary extract derived from salvia hispanica​ seed. Salvia seed oil is in fact a potent source of the omega-3 ALA (alpha linoleic acid). ALA is a less bioavailable form of omega-3 than DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), but does fill a niche in the market for people concerned with fish-derived products. The extract contains over 60 percent ALA, according to Valensa, slightly higher than the more popular botanical ALA source, flaxseed oil, which has over 50 percent. ALA is a shorter long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that is a precursor to DHA and has to be converted by the body before it can be used. Some of the cognitive, heart health and antioxidant benefits are lost in the conversion process elongating ALA's carbon chain. Valensa says its proprietary CO2 extraction process ensures Tresalbio's stability, and therefore suitability for a product like gummies. The extract contains natural antioxidants such as caffeic acid and tocopherols, which Valensa then supplements with its proprietary botanical O2B peroxidation blocker system to resist rancification. The company claims both techniques combine to create a longer shelf life, reduce the risk of rancidity, and improve taste and odor. Established in 1985, Northwest Natural Products thrives on the principle that nutrition can be fun for children. The new fish gummy comes as part of the L'il Critters line, the first of which was the Gummy vite multivitamin featuring a gummy bear product form.

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