Carbery launches whey-omega-3 blend

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Irish supplier Carbery Ingredients has debuted a whey protein concentrate (WPC)-omega-3 combination ingredient it says is the result of “extensive development work” in the area.

While the company was unavailable to provide further details at the time of publication, it said in a statement that the new customised blends had come from, work into the combined potency of whey protein and healthy oils.

That work delivered an ingredient with good mouthfeel and texture, the company said, and which could deliver EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) at levels that could allow ‘source of’ and ‘high in’ omega-3’ label claims under new European Union rules.

The offering joins Carbery’s Carbelec range that contains whey concentrates with between 35 and 80 per cent protein and which the company is aiming at the meal replacement, clinical nutrition and low calorie diet markets.

Carbery Ingredients marketing manager, Paul Donegan, highlighted the multi-functional benefits of omega-3s and said omega-6 was being considered in a similar vein.

“By adding eye, brain and heart healthy omega-3 to our whey protein concentrates, we are able to offer our customers the joint benefits of essential fatty acids and whey protein,”​ Donegan said.

“The demand for effective functional ingredients is particularly high in the clinical nutrition and low calorie diet channels where consumers need an easy way to meet daily nutritional guidelines and support health. We also have the capabilities to develop WPCs enriched with other healthy fats such as omega-6 and can develop customised solutions to meet individual requirements.”

The company said the blend was customisable into different levels of DHA, EPA and ALA

Whey-omega-3 research

Israeli researchers recently found that whey protein could be a nano-vehicle for DHA. Writing in the journal Food Hydrocolloids​, Patricia Zimet and Yoav Livney from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, said:

“The new technology presented herein may serve to enhance the health promoting properties of beverages and foods while maintaining transparency and providing substantial protection to the encapsulant against deterioration during product shelf life.”

They said it was the first time that the spontaneous binding of an omega-3 fatty acid to beta-lactoglobulin has been reported.

The researchers investigated the potential of beta-lactoglobulin to spontaneously bind to DHA and to act as a carrier for the fatty acid.

In combination with low-methoxy pectin, colloidally stable nanocomplexes of DHA-and beta-lactoglobulin were produced. An excess of pectin led to the formation of particles containing 166 times more DHA than the surrounding solution.

High dose EPA

In December, Scottish omega-3 supplier, Equateq, debuted a high-dose EPA omega-3 form with whey targeting the sports market.

The company said it had chosen to employ EPA rather than DHA or any other fatty acid, because of the anti-inflammation benefits that EPA has demonstrated.

The sardine-derived EPA powder could deliver 135mg of​EPA per dose at around €30 per kilogram.

Frost & Sullivan notes 24 per cent annual growth in the omega-3 sector, projecting a global market worth $1.6bn by 2014.

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