Krill oil ingredient firm awarded grant towards clinical research

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acid, European union, Aker

Norwegian firm Aker BioMarine claims a fund from a government agency will go towards the further substantiation of the health benefits of its krill oil extract.

The biotechnology company said that the receipt of a three year NOK 8M (€945,000) research grant from the Research Council of Norway will enable it to continue its ambitious documentation programme on its Superba Krill products.

“We hope to demonstrate more comprehensively the efficacy of omega-3s sourced from krill oil over fish oil in combating some metabolic symptoms including raised fat levels in the heart and liver as well as the benefits they have for brain health in particular memory and degeneration reduction,”​ said Dr Hogne Vik, Aker BioMarine’s EVP of documentation.

He told NutraIngredients.com that the grant will cover 40 per cent of the company’s research programme up until 2013 with the firm expected to provide updates to the Council on a twice yearly basis regarding the success of the projects.

The Research Council serves as an advisory body on research policy issues, identifies research needs and recommends national priorities in Norway.

Vik said that Aker is undertaking work in collaboration with scientists in four different research laboratories in Norway, Germany and Italy.

“We will be carrying out clinical and pre-clinical trials with researchers based at different centres including the National Hospital in Oslo, where the project will focus on evaluating omega-3 fatty acids in relation to the blood lipid profile and inflammation parameters in cardiovascular patients.

We will also assess the role fatty acids play in fat metabolism using rat and mice models in a project based at the University of Bergen,”​ he explained.

Vik claims that Superba Krill is one of very few dietary supplements that is supported by product-specific scientific documentation.

Last week, Aker announced that it won EU Novel Foods approval for its Superba Krill Oil, enabling it to be sold in the 27 countries in the EU bloc.

Prior to this approval, the ingredient could only be sold to non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Russia and Norway as well as the US.

“Our clients and potential clients knew this was coming, but, following many months of rumours and allegations, the approval brings with it welcome relief and enables us to accelerate our marketing strategy with European customers,”​ said Aker's EVP of sales and marketing Matts Johansen.

And he told this publication that Aker has 2,000 tonnes of krill raw material warehoused and ready to be extracted to meet the expected demand from the big players on the European market now that the approval is in place.

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