Norway launches bid to establish Omega 3 center

A new center for technical research into Omega 3s is planned in Norway, one of the world's leading producers of functional ingredients containing the essential fatty acid.

The initiative is being led by the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, also known as Nofima, which is a private research organisation based in Tromsø.

Heading a consortium comprising eight research institutions from across Norway and the US, the trade body FHL-Maring and 10 private companies, Nofima has applied to establish and run a new Centre for Research-based Innovation specialising in research into Omega 3s. Such centers are appointed by the Research Council of Norway.

Nofima said in Europe alone the market for Omega 3 ingredients was growing by 20-30% a year and was expected to be worth US$1 billion in 2014. It said this represented "a huge potential for added value and innovation for both the Norwegian aquaculture industry and Norwegian biomarine industry."

"In order to exploit a limited resource and ensure the best possible health effects, good quality Omega 3 fatty acids are essential," said Bente Ruyter, senior scientist at Nofima. "The most important task for the center will be to work on the best possible taste, odor and shelf life of the Omega 3 fatty acids. Through systematic building of knowledge over time, the centre will create the basis for the development of new and innovative products based on Omega-3."

In full, the organisations and companies behind the application are: Nofima, Møreforskning/Omegaland, Ålesund University College, University of Bergen, Stockholm University, Purdue University (Indiana, USA), Oslo University Hospital, FHL-Maring, Pronova Biopharma, Epax, Denomega Nutritional Oils, Marine Harvest Ingredients, Omegatri, Napro Pharma, Axellus, Nordlaks Produkter, G.O. Johnsen and Gea Westfalia Separator Norway.

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