Omega-3, 6 and 9 form wins EU novel foods approval

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Novel foods approval Omega-3 fatty acid Fatty acids

The European/Asian arm of Canadian fatty acid specialist, Bioriginal, has gained a European Union novel foods approval for echium oil after demonstrating safety to European authorities.

The company can now sell its BioMega SDA version of echium oil in the EU's 27-member states after demonstrating substantial equivalence to the first echium oil to win novel foods approval – Croda’s Incromeda V3 that gained approval in mid-2008.

Echium oil is high in stearidonic acid (SDA), which can be converted by the body to eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA). It is typically marketed as a vegetarian alternative to fish oils in the omega-3 area.

Bioriginal’s Netherlands-based sourcing project manager, Marianne Warnaer, said the approval came after waiting “quite some time”. ​With it pocketed, Bioriginal becomes the second approved echium vendor in the Eurozone of 27 member states after Croda.

“We had to submit a lot of very detailed information about the oil,” ​Warnaer told this morning. “They came back to us several times with requests for further information so it is very pleasing to have achieved this approval and the discussions we have begun with food and supplements companies can now be advanced.”

Bioriginal’s oil typically contains 12 per cent SDA, 33 per cent alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and 12 per cent gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

Croda’s Incromega V3 oil is extracted from the echium plant grown in the UK and which has a similar lipid profile to borage oil and blackcurrant oil.

Warnaer said the company would focus on medical foods, food supplements and added-value segment food.

Echium oil is derived from Echium plantagineum – ​a member of the borage family.

Biorigina’s dossier demonstrated that BioMega SDA was equivalent to Croda’s in a number of areas including composition, level of undesirable substances, nutritional value, metabolism and intended use.

The novel foods panel noted the dossier contained three batches of refined echium oil and no contamination issues were identified, even for potentially hazardous that occur naturally in some members of the borage family.

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