While well known for its lubricants and release agents for bakery, the move into nutritional ingredients, starting with the ProEssential omega-3 flax ingredients, marks a new venture for the Illinois-based company.
The company is starting with the offering of conventional water-soluble emulsions and 70 percent omega-3 flaxseed oil, which are produced by proprietary processes. According to the company, these processes yield fully-fatted, highly-stable powders and highly-concentrated oils, including a water-soluble emulsion with high omega-3 content.
“No one else has 20 percent water-soluble omega-3,” said Richard Staack, VP product development and research at Avatar Corporation.
Staack spoke to NutraIngredients-USA.com at the recent IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, where the company was launching its functional food ingredients range.
Omega-3 is a trend few ingredients firms with an interest in functional foods want to miss out on.
According to Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, omega-3 will reach $7bn in sales worldwide by 2011. The boom over the past four years has followed the lipid ingredient's move into mainstream food and beverage.
Flaxseed is one of the best sources of vegetarian omega-3 in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been studied for its role in heart, immune, and joint health, as well as for maintaining good skin. Flaxseed is one of the sources for dietary lignan, which has been linked to a reduced risk of a wide range of conditions, including breast and prostate cancers, as well as reduced hair loss.
The flax ingredients are non-GMO, trans fat-free, gluten-free, allergen-free, Vegan and Kosher-Certified, said the company.
Staack said that the company’s ingredients were sourced globally, but with “as many as possible from the US”.
In addition to the omega-3 flax ingredients, the company also launched a ProEssential natural antioxidants range, which includes ascorbyl palmitate, citric acid and tocopherols, and rosemary extracts.
The company is offering both standard and deodorized rosemary extracts for food and personal care applications. The extracts are intended for foods to prolong the shelf-life and not as nutritional ingredients, said the company. The extracts are intended for use in foods such as light-colored mayonnaise, dressings, sauces, marinades, edible and frying oils, light-colored confectionery and bakery fillings without impacting on taste, odor, or color.
Staack confirmed that the food grade lubricants and release agents would remain a cornerstone of Avatar’s business, and the venture into functional food ingredients was an expansion of its business.