Evonik gains EU marketing approval for high-concentration omega 3 powder

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Evonik has received the go-ahead from European authorities to market its high-concentration omega-3 lysine powder complex AvailOm in the European Union, the company confirmed.

Regulators confirmed in their assessment of Evonik’s omega-3 fatty acid-lysine complex that the product did not fall within the scope of the Novel Foods Regulation 2015/2283 (EU) and used standard food production techniques in its production.

The German-based firm also confirmed the omega-3 complex components occurred naturally in fish and fish products and could therefore be used to replace other forms of omega-3 esters in dietary supplements.

“The potency, bioavailability and stability of AvailOm creates an opportunity for nutraceutical companies to develop single and multi-ingredient consumer-friendly supplements,”​ said Cornelis van den Muyzenberg, vice-president of Food Ingredients and Strategic Projects at Evonik Health Care.

“We look forward to supporting customers develop new formulations that are enabled by this innovative nutraceutical ingredient.”

AvailOm now available

AvailOm claims to be the highest-load omega-3 powder in its class with a minimum of 45% eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA) by weight.

A single tablet made from AvailOm is said to deliver the same omega-3 fatty acid uptake as two large fish oil softgel capsules.

Crucially, Evonik said they had succeeded in transforming EPA and DHA into a highly concentrated powder in the form of a lysine complex that shows “superior stability to standard omega-3 esters.”

A spokesperson for the firm said its omega 3 powder was formulated to resist the oxidative process that omega-3 oils are vulnerable to, remaining stable for at least three years.

“The stability has been proven by a study over 36 months that monitored the formation of oxidative species at 25°C and 60% humidity via anisidine and peroxide values,” ​they said.

Headquarted in Essen, Evonik also pointed to AvailOm’s bioavailability being 3-5 times that of standard omega-3 softgels.

“When omega-3 fatty acids are consumed as triglycerides or ethyl esters, they need to be hydrolysed to the free fatty acid by pancreatic enzymes (lipases) in order to be absorbed through the wall of the small intestine,”​ the firm said.

“AvailOm avoids this step by providing a pre- converted complex, which rapidly dissociates to the free fatty acid, enabling it to be absorbed immediately even if on a low-fat diet.”

NDI and GRAS -approved

Manufactured in Europe, its approval follows approval in the US (both NDI and GRAS), where high-concentration omega-3 powder has proved popular amongst consumers,

This is despite some in the sector claiming that the higher the concentration, the more difficulty there is in digestion, although there is little data currently to back that assertion.

“In general omega-3 oils in triglyceride or ester form need to be emulsified and hydrolysed first before uptake, resulting in a lower absorption compared to the free fatty acid form found in AvailOm,” ​Evonik’s spokesperson responded.

“Consumers have to take a much larger volume of omega-3 oils to achieve the same health benefit that results from a single small-sized AvailOm tablet.

“In addition, when the oil from the capsules is released in the stomach it will float on the surface resulting in unpleasant burps and reflux.

“This is a complaint we heard from many consumers during our study, which revealed that consumers prefer easy to swallow omega-3 supplements, preferentially as combination product and without the fishy aftertaste of currently marketed products.“

Evonik’s approval follows algal fermentation specialist Fermentalg’s deal​ with global ingredients supplier DSM Nutritional Products to develop and market high potency DHA ingredients.

The French microalgae firm said the five-year contract would accelerate penetration of its Origins DHA-550 product line.

Under terms of the agreement, Fermentalg has granted exclusive rights to DSM for selling its high-potency DHA products in certain market segments.

Evonik merger

In related news, Evonik also revealed earlier this month its plans to create a new Care Solutions Business Line.

The unit—formed from merging its Personal Care and Household Care business lines with its  oleochemistry platform, will “further strengthen the growth agenda of the segment Nutrition & Care”, ​according to Dr Hans-Josef Ritzert, the Nutrition & Care Segment’s Management board member.

The new unit, which has roughly 1,250 employees and combined sales of approximately €900m, will be launched on January 1, 2019.

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