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Hormel teams up with Virun to offer solution for shelf-stable omega-3 beverages - minus the preservatives…

By Elaine Watson , 06-Jul-2012
Last updated on 06-Jul-2012 at 14:49 GMT

The specialty products division at Hormel Foods has struck a deal with biotech firm Virun to offer water soluble, clear and shelf stable omega-3 EPA and DHA concentrates that enable manufacturers to create clear beverages without using preservatives.

While the technology to include fat-soluble bioactives such as omega-3s and CoQ10 in clear beverages has been around for a couple of years, being able to include them and keep clean labels is new, claimed Virun CEO Philip Bromley.

The technology developed by Virun and now incorporated in Hormel’s FUXIONS product range also enables beverage manufacturers to use flavors that were not obtainable previously in clear drinks, said Bromley.

“Recently, Virun has patented and filed patent applications that allow Virun’s partnered branded ingredient, FUXIONS, to be used in water without preservatives, such as EDTA.  Furthermore, this extension to the FUXIONS product line yields excellent flavor options that were not obtainable before in clear water applications.”

A safe, non-toxic and more natural means of omega-3 delivery

FUXIONS also allows ingredients such as resveratrol, CoQ10, lutein, lycopene, betacarotene and lignans such as sesamin to be water soluble and shelf-stable. 

Historically, firms trying to incorporate long-chain omega-3s - which are prone to oxidation - in beverages have had to add ingredients to mask off flavors, refrigerate their products or use detergents to reduce particle size and deliver lower turbidity, said Bromley.

“FUXIONS allows the omega-3 to be absorbed without the excipient being significantly absorbed into the body which ultimately delivers a safe, non-toxic and more natural means of omega-3 delivery."

While there are other firms in the market making similar claims, said Bromley, “what we have found and suggest to industry is to ensure you know exactly what excipients they are using”.