Martek gains new Euro patent on ARA for infant formulas

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Fatty acid

Martek has added a new patent to its store of European intellectual
property on ARA from Mortierella alpine microorganisms for
infant formulas, reinforcing its position after an opposition
hearing in 2005 narrowed the scope of the original.

ARA (arachidonic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that occurs naturally in human breast milk and is understood to play an important role in infants' growth and development. Martek's ARA is derived from microalgae and also contains longer-chain omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). However Martek's original patent claim on its ARA was successfully challenged by competitors in 2005, resulting in an amendment that allowed other companies to make claims for ARA that does not also naturally contain EPA. The US company remained upbeat despite this, saying that the modified claims provided it with "valuable precedent for expanding its ARA patent coverage in Europe".​ Martek filed its new parent application following the outcome of the opposition hearing, covering infant formula supplemented with ARA oil from M alpina that naturally contains EPA in amounts of up to 20 per cent EPA, and methods for producting infant formulas with this ingredient. This was drawn up so as to prevent competitors muscling in by adding EPA from other sources, such as fish oil. Martek CEO Steve Dubin called the grant of the patent "further evidence of Martek's strong intellectual property position in Europe for infant formulas supplemented with ARA oil.""Martek's strategy continues to be to develop multiple layers of patent protection."​ On a worldwide basis the company has some 700 patents either already granted or pending. Martek says its ARA is used in infant formulas sold in more than 60 countries worldwide. Such use is driven by a desire to replicate the nutritional properties of breast milk as closely as possible so that babies who cannot - for whatever reason - receive their mother's milk are not at a nutritional disadvantage. The company says that its ARA is used in 85 per cent of infant formula products sold in the United States.

Related topics: Health and nutritional ingredients

Related news

Related products

show more

ADM Sustainability & Integrated Supply Chain

ADM Sustainability & Integrated Supply Chain

ADM: Gain an Edge with Global Consumer Trends | 07-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Wondering how to meet your climate goals? Find out how through increased investment in regenerative agriculture and other programs ADM can help you reduce...

2023 Global Consumer Trends Report

2023 Global Consumer Trends Report

ADM: Gain an Edge with Global Consumer Trends | 07-Nov-2022 | Insight Guide

Are you keeping up with the latest consumer trends? Uncover the 8 key global growth drivers shaping the future of innovation in ADM’s 3rd Annual Global...

Great mouth feel with plant-based appeal

Great mouth feel with plant-based appeal

ADM | 26-Oct-2022 | Case Study

Put Stabrium™ to work for you. After extensive development comes our Stabrium™ portfolio with the body, thickness and mouthfeel consumers expect in dairy...

Our supply chain delivers your climate goals.

Our supply chain delivers your climate goals.

ADM | 25-Oct-2022 | Product Brochure

We put food on tables the world over. So, we’re investing in building a more sustainable supply chain. Our supply chain starts with regenerative agriculture...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more