DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia, Jul 19, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC), supplier of MEG-3(TM) Brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, held a forum and press conference showcasing their MEG-3(TM) product and showing key industry leaders that there is a convergence of forces bringing EPA and DHA to mainstream food products in America. The event was held in New Orleans, in conjunction with the annual meeting of Institute of Food Technologists.
"I believe that we are at a tipping point for improving American health," said Ian Lucas, vice president of marketing and new product development at Ocean Nutrition Canada. "Science and data clearly show that deficiencies exist in the American diet. There is microencapsulated technology that enables formulation without the taste or smell of fish. There is also a positive regulatory environment and increasing consumer awareness of the need for Omega-3. The convergence of these factors sets the stage to introduce Omega-3 into mainstream food applications."
During the unprecedented forum, scientists spoke to food industry leaders about dietary deficiency in Americans, how EPA and DHA can benefit those who do not receive enough fish in their diet, and the need to introduce EPA/DHA ingredients into their diets. Industry executives sampled MEG-3(TM) in breakfast foods such as eggs, bread, bagels, yogurt and orange juice confirmed the tasteless ingredient.
"Nutraceuticals and functional foods are becoming the pharmacy for disease prevention," said Dr. Bruce Holub, professor in the Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. "Most experts would agree that people Americans should consume 500-1000 milligrams each day of EPA and DHA while most Americans average approximately 130 milligrams per day. He presented the fact that Omega-3 fatty acids benefit both men and women, increasing both heart and brain health. His presentation also showed that women do not receive the recommended amount of Omega-3 during pregnancy.
Forming an academic network is key for stimulating American awareness said Dr. Bruce Watkins, professor of food science at Purdue University. He spoke about the importance of educating Americans, explaining that consumers must know what functional foods are, understand the health benefits and know how to integrate marine based Omega-3 EPA and DHA into their diets.
Fran Strazzella, vice president of marketing at George Weston Bakeries, Inc., illustrated how North American consumers are positively responding to MEG-3(TM) enriched products. Strazella noted that Americans admit perceived deficiencies of Omega-3 in their diets and talked about how eating bread, enriched with Omega-3 can address the deficiencies.
"In similar countries where these convergence factors exist and Omega-3 products were introduced, such as Spain and Australia, there has been an overwhelming acceptance and explosion in sales," Lucas said. "With success in these markets, it is critical for us to move now."
About Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC):
Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited is a privately held company, and wholly owned subsidiary of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., one of Canada's largest suppliers of quality seafood products. Ocean Nutrition Canada researches, manufactures, and markets Omega-3 concentrates and other marine based natural ingredients for dietary supplements and foods. ONC exemplifies scientific rigor in discovery and research programs, along with world leading regulatory and quality compliance standards. Its website is www.ocean-nutrition.com