Krill demand prompts Enzymotec expansion

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Krill oil, Krill

Israeli phospholipids firm Enzymotec has expanded capacity for its krill oil in order to meet growing customer demand for the product.

Krill oil, rich in omega-3, phospholipids and antioxidants, is derived from the planktonic family of crustacean.

Enzymotec, which entered the market for krill oil in 2007, will now consolidate its production in a new 200,000 sq ft facility, set to begin operating this spring.

The company said the move would “significantly increase its capacity”,​ but would not specify by how much. It said the additional capacity was designed to meet higher demand from customers in the functional foods and supplements markets, and relates to its entire line of krill oil-based products.

Krill line

Enzymotec's range includes phosphatidylserine-based ingredients it markets for cognitive development, lipids for infant formulas, as well as pure krill oils, which it began supplying in early 2007.

The company recently established a US subsidiary in New Jersey to support its expansion in the Americas, but continues to manufacture its ingredients at its Israeli facility.

The new facility, which Enzymotec said is GMP compliant, will serve its customers globally.

The firm last year expanded its product line to include a krill oil with modified phospholipids and omega-3 content, which it sells at a "significantly lower price"​ to its high-grade version.

Having a two-tier pricing system for its krill offerings, in addition to its other lipid ingredients, allowed the company to better compete with the likes of global krill market leader, Canadian-based Neptune Technologies & Bioressources.

Enzymotec claims its krill oil contains higher concentrations of phospholipids and astaxanthin “which make it better”​, but the firm would not specify to the level of these concentrations, nor the competing products it is comparing its oil to.

Whale food

Krill, which means 'whale food' in Norwegian, are small shrimp-like marine crustaceans eaten by fish, birds and, in particular, whales.

Krill are considered to have the largest biomass of any multi-cellular animal in the world - between 100 and 800 million tones. Despite this, the population has reduced in the past 30 years, resulting in some concern over its harvesting.

According to the Antarctic Krill Conservation Project, fish farming uses about 75 per cent of the world's fish oil and 40 per cent of its fish meal, and this could increase to 79 per cent and 48 per cent respectively by the end of this decade.

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