Unlike krill oil, which is richer in EPA, the new ingredient, called Crill, is richer in DHA.
“Crill is not fish oil,” explained a spokesperson for Enzymotec. “While in fish oil the omega-3 fatty acids are attached to the triglyceride, in krill oil and in Crill the omega-3 fatty acids are attached to the phospholipids.”
The spokesperson confirmed that Crill is sourced naturally but would not disclose the source. “It’s not fish oil, its closer to krill but has more DHA than EPA,” added the spokesperson.
The ingredient, suitable for dietary supplement applications, is reportedly cheaper than krill oil, but more expensive when comparing the product to fish oil (DHA).
"The market is willing to get added-value DHA with a better delivery system,” said Dr Ariel Katz, CEO of Enzymotec. “Enzymotec developed the new bio functional ingredient to address the market needs.”
“This product reflects our capabilities in producing tailor made solutions for different customers that are looking for a source richer in DHA than the krill,” added Dr Kats.
The company was not willing to disclose the process for the production of the ingredient to NutraIngredients.com, nor could it share the patent status.
The science behind the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in the phospholipid form were reported earlier this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists from the University of Lyon 1 (UMR CNRS 5123), reported that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in the phospholipid form resulted in changes to children's fatty acid profile and an increase in Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) scores amongst children with impaired attention performance.
The study, supported financially by Enzymotec but using a different product and not Crill, also found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in the triacylglycerol form produced different fatty acid profiles and different results. In terms of TOVA scores, improvements were significantly less than observed in children supplemented with the phospholipid form.
"To the best of our knowledge, the randomised controlled trial presented herein is the first short-term intervention study with omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) to show a correlation between these biochemical and cognitive function outcomes," wrote the Lyon-based researchers (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. May 2008, Vol. 87, pp. 1170-1180).