The products, which will be available later this year, will be manufactured using Oxford Nutrascience’s chew technology and Ocean Nutrition’s encapsulated MEG-3 omega-3 ingredient.
Oxford Nutrascience will be producing an own-label low-dose chew, containing 50mg omega-3 and positioned as a functional confectionery product. However, CEO Nigel Theobald told NutraIngredients.com that the firm hopes to supply higher-dose chews to customers in the dietary supplement sector.
“Using our technology, we can get 200mg of omega-3 in each chew,” he said, adding that the firm itself had no plans to launch an own-label supplement chew as it didn’t want to enter into competition with its customers.
As part of the agreement with Ocean Nutrition, Oxford Nutrascience will exclusively use ONC’s MEG-3 ingredient in all its omega-3 chews sold in Europe, while ONC will give Oxford Nutrition access to its customer database for its promotion efforts.
"Having access to the customer base of the world's largest and foremost producer of Omega-3 shows the level of trust Ocean Nutrition Canada has in our chew technology,” said Theobald.
The firm’s technology, which is in the final stages of patent application in Europe, protects sensitive ingredients from degradation, meaning they can easily be incorporated into soft chews.
“Our technology means we don’t have to cook the application at a high temperature, so the ingredient doesn’t get degraded. We still cook the product, but to lower temperatures. We also replace some of the fats with fibres, and it’s this ratio that is protected by our patent,” said Theobald.
Jon Getzinger, chief sales and marketing officer at ONC, said he expects the Oxford Nutrascience chew to “do very well in the market”.
The agreement between the two firms does not extend to North America, where ONC works with another partner to supply omega-3 chews.
Oxford Nutrascience develops liquid suspensions, gels, chewables and confectionery formats for supplement, medicinal and functional food ingredient delivery with a focus, it claims, on applications that are easily consumed by children and the elderly.
The firm was formed in early 2008, but has been focusing on R&D until now. This year it floated on the stock market and is placing a greater focus on the commercialization of its products, said Theobald.
Oxford Nutrascience currently has a calcium chew supplement available on the market in the UK and the Middle East. Together with the omega-3 chew, another product in the pipeline is a cranberry chew, both of which are expected to be released later this year.