Norwegian Antarctic krill ingredient company Olympic Seafood AS, Nofima AS and the Technical University of Denmark have begun a joint research project on the phospholipids found in krill oil.
By the research, Olympic Seafood AS takes an important step toward developing a new industry standard for quality evaluation of marine phospholipids in nutraceutical applications. The Technical University of Denmark will investigate the fundamental behaviors of phospholipids and its oxidation mechanisms. Nofima is involved with developing the technology relaxed to this endeavor. Funding for the project comes from the Research Council of Norway and Olympic Seafood AS. The total budget is 6 million NOK (approx. 800 000 EUR).
Current testing methods unreliable
The oxidation of omega-3 oils has long been a key issue in the industry of essential fatty acids (EFA) as product quality is generally evaluated by the degree of oxidation. “The problem is that the methods developed for assessing oxidation in marine oils (such as fish oil) do not work for krill oil. For example, we see that peroxide value does not increase in krill oil despite the fact the oil has exposed to air for a long period of time,” explains the research director at Olympic Seafood AS, Dr. Inge Bruheim.
Little is known about the exact characteristics of phospholipid oxidation and the research project led by Dr. Bruheim, seeks to understand and clarify the process in krill phospholipids. A better understanding of how oxidation occurs in krill oils is essential in being able to create higher quality products. This leads into the secondary goal of the project, which is to establish methods for assessing krill oil quality. This will also go hand in hand with developing a quality control and documentation system for the manufacturing process.
Aiming for new industry standard
Overall, the phospholipid research project will be an important advance for Olympic Seafood as well the industry as a whole as it helps to clarify its position in the growing EFA industry. “Our efforts will help standardize the methods for evaluating phospholipid bound omega-3 fatty acid quality, which is important for customers so they get piece of mind their products are of the highest quality,” says Dr. Bruheim.