EPAX Expands Purity Standards

AALESUND, Norway - EPAX AS, a world-leading supplier of marine-derived omega-3 fatty acid concentrates, continues to improve the purity and quality levels for its products. The company confirmed today it has lowered the acceptable level for dioxins, furans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)s in its specifications for its omega-3 concentrates. EPAX's levels are now 60 percent lower than required by the European Union (EU) authorities. In addition, the company has widened its definition of purity by also including factors important to human health that go beyond just measuring for pollutants. By including the new lowered values for oxidation products, EPAX introduces a more holistic approach to purity, that focuses on the total quality of the oil. The new limits are a continuous response to EPAX's company core commitment of "Purity, Quality and Innovation."
As part of the new standards, EPAX has lowered its specification limits for the sum of dioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs from 5 parts per gram (pg/g) to 4 pg/g in all its concentrates, including the company's TG and EE formulations. This is much lower than the new EU maximum of 10pg/g, which was introduced in late 2006. Raising standards is a part of EPAX's quality strategy and is a response to consumers' concerns for environmental pollutant content in omega-3s. In 2005, the company lowered the specifications for organic pollutants and heavy metals for all oils. In 2006, the company lowered levels for dioxin furans and dioxin-like PCBs.
The new levels for oxidation products, reflected in peroxide, anisidine, totox, absorbance, oligomers and acid values, are well below those set by international regulatory standards. Lowest possible content is important to human health since science has proven that high levels of oxidation products can damage the cells in the human body, which have been implicated in many of today's chronic diseases. In addition, EPAX monitors and prevents trans fats and their formation, with extreme care taken in the processing stage to ensure that levels are barely detectable, if at all.
There is an increasing amount of evidence for marine omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)/docosahexaenoic (DHA) and its positive effects in relation to a number of health concerns, such as cardiovascular health, joint health, mood and brain health, and inflammatory conditions. The demand for omega-3 oils is growing on a global basis and customers are demanding products with higher purity. "We are proud to be able to meet consumer demand for maximum purity and quality of omega-3 products. Our customers are pleased that contaminant levels for EPAX oils are 60 percent better than the maximum limits set by new EU regulations," says Bjorn Refsum, CEO of EPAX AS. "In addition, our continuous strong focus on careful sourcing of high-quality raw material and careful treatment of its processing enables us to offer oils with a minimum of oxidation products and organic by-products that are the safest and healthiest to consumers."
Refsum also added, "The EPAX limits for environmental pollutants such as dioxins and PCBs are at such low levels — and consumed in such small concentrations — that they are considered absolutely safe. High levels of oxidation products are proven to be damaging to the human cell by free radicals forming. This is why EPAX aims for the total quality of the oils by also monitoring and including parameters for oxidation into the values of EPAX purity."
"Offering maximum purity reflects our ongoing commitment to our customers and the marketplace," says Gunilla Traberg, marketing manager for EPAX AS. "This is in-line with our strategy to remain ahead of regulatory measures and to constantly improve by setting new industry standards. This enables us to realize our most important commitments - consumer safety and consumer trust."
At the Vitafoods Supplier Seminar on May 8 at 14:30 (2:30 p.m.), Mr. Baldur Hjaltason, BcC (Hon), EPAX sales manger, will present "Purity Beyond Expectations," discussing why ultra-pure oil is essential to the integrity of the omega-3 marketplace and important to human health. He will also discuss the concept of what other factors come into play regarding the quality and purity of omega-3 oils that go beyond simply measuring for pollutants only.
About EPAX AS: EPAX AS is headquartered in Aalesund with a global sales office in Lysaker/Oslo, Norway. Its production facility in Aalesund is GMP-approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency for the manufacturing of API products. All of EPAX's business efforts reflect the company's core commitment: Purity | Quality | Innovation. These values represent EPAX's commitment to offering products that are safe, pure and of consistent quality. EPAX AS offers concentrated omega-3 EPA/DHA oils in the business-to-business segment under the brand name EPAX, available in a wide range of top-quality formulas with different EPA/DHA concentrations and ratios focused on specific health conditions. EPAX is available in TG or EE versions For further information on EPAX AS, its products or clinical studies visit www.epax.com or contact marketing manager Gunilla Traberg at [email protected].
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Press Contact: Gunilla Traberg [email protected]

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