In April this year, the European Commission authorised the use of Antarctic krill lipid extract in food supplements following a positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion.
EFSA outlined safe maximum concentrations of 3 g per day for the general population and 450 mg per day for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Rimfrost's competitor Aker Biomarine first applied for the high dose extension to its already-granted 2009 novel food approval back in September 2014.
The new parameters granted as a result have opened up a whole host of health claim opportunities for krill markets and the green light has seen a flurry of activity from krill players to capitalise on this.
Speaking with us at its offices in Fosnavåg in Norway, Rimfrost (formerly Olympic Seafood) said the dosages could help combat stagnation seen in the krill market in recent years.
As a result the company was launching two new products: a high concentration krill oil and a krill powder.
Rimfrost branded oil boasts 60% phospholipid concentration and 250 mg/g EPA/DHA as well as choline content and 600 micrograms of astaxanthin.
This means the following health claims can be made on pack:
-EPA/DHA contributes to the normal function of the heart
-DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function
-DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision
-High in omega-3 fatty acids
-Choline contributes to normal liver function
-Choline contributes to normal lipid metabolism
Yet while high in concentration, consumers would still have to take two capsules of the oil to get these health benefits and this has been highlighted as a key limitation of krill oil.
Asked why consumers would chose to take two pills instead of one pill of fish oil, which is also about half the price, vice president of European sales and marketing Henrik Traaholt told us the key differentiation was the choline health claims, astaxanthin content and reduced reflux.
Powder is the future
The company has also launched Rimfrost Pristine, a nutritional krill powder boasting 2.5 g/100 g EPA, 1.5 g/100 g DHA and 40 mg/kg of astaxanthin.
It claims the reddish powder has a low fresh shrimp-like smell and taste and can be used for supplements in capsules or as a functional food ingredient.
“Powdered omega-3 is the future,” Traaholt said.
With a shelf life of two years, the powder stood out from oils in its ability to be blended with other ingredients such as glucosamine and its levels of peptides, which are not found in the oils.
In the future glucosamine could even be made from krill shells instead of the prawns currently used.
“There’s a product to be made from the shells, but we’re not there yet,” Traaholt said.