ONC Launches a New MEG-3 DHA Food Ingredient

Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC), supplier of MEG-3® brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, is pleased to announce the introduction of a new version of the MEG-3® food ingredient with a DHA:EPA ratio of 5:1, which will enable food products to contribute to improved nutrition for infants and mothers.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) are the two important nutrients found in fish oil and both contribute to normal growth and development. Natural human breast milk contains a DHA to EPA ratio of 4:1 reflecting the need for this balance of DHA:EPA with infant nutrition.

In the United States, 80% of infant formulae contain DHA so that children receive this nutrient during an important phase of growth and development of their brains and nervous system. In fact, 30% of the fat in the human brain is made up of DHA and EPA is considered an essential nutrient for cell membranes. Dr. Colin Barrow, Vice President of Research and Development with ONC, said, “The nutritional dilemma is that once infants are weaned from infant formula children’s brains and nervous systems continue to rapidly grow through age seven. And yet, consumption of foods containing DHA and EPA is very low creating a nutritional deficiency during these developmental years.” Dr. Barrow also said, “Nursing mothers also need these nutrients in their diets to contribute to the health of their breast fed children.”

It is estimated that 25% of North Americans do not eat fish at all, and it is hard for the average family to consume the two to four meals of oily fish per week as recommended in the 2005 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid because of cost, convenience and food preferences. The result is that mothers and children lack these nutrients in their diets creating a huge nutritional problem.

The MEG-3® high DHA food ingredient has FDA notified GRAS status because of its purity and quality. MEG-3® food ingredients have a patented form of micro-encapsulation called Powder-loc™ which locks the DHA and EPA into the food ingredient while locking the smell and taste of fish out of the food. This means that the new high DHA fish oil ingredient can be added to many foods both children or mothers would normally eat so they get the health benefits of fish, without the taste or smell of fish. Food nutritional value increases creating a convenient and tasty way for people to get the health benefits of DHA and EPA from fish oil.

MEG-3® food ingredients are versatile and can be formulated in many foods. Currently, there are products commercially available including breads, tortillas, milk, yogurt, orange juice and even confectionaries like candy chews. This means food manufacturers have many options for inclusion of the ingredient.

Ian Lucas, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing at ONC, said, “Mothers in particular understand the importance of DHA since they are aware that DHA is in infant formulae, Lucas continued, “This creates a great marketing opportunity for food companies since there is a real nutritional problem and high awareness of the health benefits with the major group of people responsible for purchasing food products.”

About Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC):

Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited is a privately held company, whose major shareholder is Clearwater Fine Foods Incorporated, a diversified holding/investment company whose significant holdings include a controlling interest in Clearwater Seafood's Limited Partnership, which is the world’s largest integrated shellfish harvester and processor and Ocean Nutrition (Canada) Limited. 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. For more information on the health benefits of MEG-3® ingredients please visit www.meg-3.com


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