DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 innovator and maker of the life'sDHA(TM) brand of DHA, Martek Biosciences announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with General Mills for a patented microencapsulation technology. Microencapsulation is a process widely used in food manufacturing that protects the integrity of food ingredients and helps maintain the nutritional value, shelf-life and flavor of the finished food or beverage product.
Developed by General Mills, this technology is anticipated to enhance Martek's ability to produce high-quality, cost-effective DHA powders for certain food applications, particularly long-shelf life products and applications with sensory and formulation challenges. Under the terms of the agreement, Martek is granted a perpetual and generally exclusive license, with respect to third parties, to the General Mills technology for use with DHA and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. General Mills retains the right to this technology for its own use and exclusively for all uses within some of its core businesses.
"Through this technology, we look forward to providing the important health benefits of DHA to even more consumers around the world through healthy, convenient and high-quality products in a broad range of categories," said David Abramson, Martek president.
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diets. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Clinical studies are underway to evaluate the role of DHA in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Leading experts around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.
Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is included in more than 99 percent of all formulas on the U.S. market, as well as in more than 200 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements and functional foods sold in over 75 countries worldwide.
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had fiscal 2008 global net sales of U.S. $14.9 billion, including the company's $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. Visit www.generalmills.com.
Martek Biosciences Corporation is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life'sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements. The company also produces life'sARA(TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, from a sustainable, vegetarian source, for use in infant formula. For more information on Martek Biosciences Corporation, visit www.martek.com. For a complete list of products containing life'sDHA, visit http://www.lifesdha.com .
Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.