The cups, which use a new stabilized water-soluble omega-3 emulsion from Oceans Omega, deliver 32mg of EPA/DHA and will be available in strawberry, orange, passion fruit and pink grapefruit flavor, Benjamin D. Mamola, CEO of Oceans Omega parent company Mycell Technologies told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Gelatin companies have been looking for ways to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids for years but due to the technical limitations, have been unable to do so.
"Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial to cognitive development and health for children and seniors so gelatin is a terrific delivery form.”
Gelatin companies have been looking for ways to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids for years
So could this be the start of a new, functional trend in the desserts category?
It’s too early to say, said Mamola, but from a technical perspective, the sky is now the limit as technological advances mean that categories previously off limits are now ripe for fortification.
“Oceans Omega’s technology provides water-soluble and stabilized EPA and DHA for use in hot fill, cold fill, carbonation, high sheer, baking and other manufacturing processes”, he said.
Right now, however, he is seeing the strongest demand in “beverages including enhanced waters, carbonated beverages and tea products as well as liquid nutritional products including shots”.
Water-soluble and stabilized EPA and DHA suitable for products produced via cold-fill, hot-fill and carbonation
But are manufacturers still unsure about incorporating long chain omega-3s into certain foods owing to fears about stability and fishy smells?
“This has been a major issue with food and beverage manufacturers since they have had so many false promises from companies and technologies in the past”, he acknowledged.
“However, Oceans Omega has successfully launched the world's first omega-3 enhanced water, Omega Infusion, and uses this product as the proof of concept in all of its meetings. Once food and beverage manufacturers taste the Omega Infusion product, they become believers.”
Food and beverage manufacturers have had so many false promises from companies and technologies in the past
But he added: ”There is still an education gap and a technology gap. In reference to education, nearly 85% of consumers recognize omega-3 fatty acids for health but the majority don't know exactly what omega-3s are good for. But with an RDI expected, this education gap will narrow thus fueling growth.
“In reference to the technology gap, there have been numerous fortification opportunities within the food and beverage space that have been limited by the lack of technology to stabilize omega-3 fatty acids.
“This is where Oceans Omega can help to increase the growth of the omega-3 market by opening up new channels of distribution."
Meanwhile, the addition of Steve Dubin, the former CEO of algal DHA expert Martek BioSciences (which is now owned by DSM) to Oceans Omega's board “has provided an additional level of credibility”, he claimed.
“Oceans Omega's ingredients are manufactured by DSM Nutritional Products and have been designed to be used in a broad range of food and beverage products without any modifications required to the manufacturing facilities.”
New Jersey-based Oceans Omega, which has manufacturing facilities in Ohio, has a supply partnership with DSM for its Meg-3 fish oils and life’sDHA algal oils.
Its stable, odorless and tasteless OTEC branded water-soluble omega-3 emulsions are also manufactured by DSM and can be used in a wide range of applications including clear and carbonated beverages, juices. liquid concentrates. nutritional shots. gelatin desserts, ice creams and ice pops.
In June 2012, Oceans Omega struck a deal to supply Cott Beverages with its emulsions to fortify selected beverage products in the US market.