Polaris launches ultra-purified micoalgae DHA oil

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

getty | greenleaf123
getty | greenleaf123

Related tags omega-3 Dha

After more than 25 years in the omega market, Polaris is looking to become a forerunner in the field of fish-free omega 3, with the launch of a microalgae oil promising at least 800 mg/g of DHA .

Omega-3 supplements are a pillar of the health segment, with benefits ranging from women's health, to inflammation, healthy aging, vision, and more.

But growing concerns around the sustainability of fish-sources oils, and the rise of veganism, has led to heightened interest in microalgae as it has been discovered as a sustainable and valuable source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) as well as high-quality proteins​. 

What's more, a significant number of consumers cite the fishy taste as one of the main reasons they do not consume EPA and DHA oils. 

Developed in response to these significant challenges, the new Omegavie DHA 800 algae oil is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being non-GMO, free from allergens, and guaranteed not to contain toxins. 

Produced in France, the oil comes directly from microalgae (Schizochytrium sp​. strain) which is high in DHA, proteins, vitamins, carotenoids, phycobilins, polysaccharides, and sterols.

Louis-Marie Martin, Polaris VP Sales & Marketing, says: “During the past few years, Polaris has chosen to focus on the source of tomorrow’s Omega-3: microalgae. The increasing demand for Omega-3 by the world’s population will be a major challenge over the next two decades.

"Polaris has always been committed to the use of fisheries co-products and raw materials from sustainable fisheries, but today we need to go further. This is the reason why we have focused our strategic development on microalgae.” 

Highly unsaturated oils are very sensitive to oxidation and so have to be protected in order to preserve their nutritional, flavour and smell qualities as well as their shelf life. Polaris has been working to improve the stability of microalgae and its new Qualitysilver formulation guarantees 'optimal stability' allowing it to be added to simple or complex products, such as capsules, tablets, sticks, seasoning oils, milk powders, and cereal bars.

The firm claims to be the first to offer such high potency algae oil on the market, containing minimum 800 mg/g of DHA. 

Stephanie Lennon, NPD and formulation manager, says this high concentration allows the creation of easy-swallow capsules and multi-ingredient formulations. 

“Offering high concentrations allows our customers to free up space in their capsules and to develop formulations with other active ingredients. It can save up to 30% of space. Smaller capsules mean smaller packaging, reduced costs and carbon impact, more storage space on the shelf. It also means only one capsule a day of a smaller size, making it easier to swallow for end consumers.”

Thanks to a purification process that targets only the fatty acids of interest - DHA - the formula has a very low profile of saturated fatty acids (below 3%) and is in triglyceride form which is the natural form of Omega-3, making it highly bioavailable. 

Omegavie microalgae is extracted using a natural enzymatic process using water with no solvents. Then, it is subjected to Polaris’ refining, purification and deodorization process in France, which eliminates potential traces of residual contaminants to the extent that they are undetectable.  

Sensory challenges

Looking to overcome the issues around fishy flavours and smells, Polaris has developed a 'Sensory' line, for the development of finished products with an optimal ingestion without any off-notes. 

Sensory helps to add innovative functional ingredients such as Omegavie algae oils into finished products such as functional foods, bars, sports nutrition, instant drinks & beverages, baby food, gummies, and more.

The market

GOED estimated the omega market was worth U$200 - 250 billion in 2020, while the DHA algal oil is expected to grow from US$257 million in 2018 to US$945 million in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 17.7%.

At the same time, Euromoniotor has named consumer awareness of environmental and sustainability concerns as a key consumer trend for 2021​. This trend, which was already compacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been given an additional boost after the highly publicised Netflix 'Seaspiracy' documentary which led to heightened concerns around consumption of fish.

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