Spanish fatty acids company Brudy said it has developed a concentrated arachidonic acid from fish oil which will be available to infant formula manufacturers from June 2002.
Arachidonic acid is extracted from fish oil, and has until now only been available in a general DHA compound made by US company Martek. Martek extracts DHA from the Martierella o Pythium algae and has a patent for its product.
Brudy claims that by extracting arachidonic acid and developing it on its own, middle-sized or small infant formula manufacturers will now be able to afford the ingredient. The acid is available at 15 per cent concentration, and the company hopes it will be available at 30-40 per cent by October this year.
"The highest cost to companies making infant formulas is this patented product. Our arachidonic acid means the smaller companies who did not have access to DHA acids will be able to develop improved infant formulas," Brudy director Francisco Gasso told NutraIngredients.
He added : "It is not a problem for a big company to pay the costs of the patent, but we know that a lot of smaller businesses are waiting for our new product."
Further innovation is expected from the food company, which is currently waiting for a patent for a new medical use for pure Omega 3 fatty acids. Research on the use is to be presented at a scientific conference in October, and points to increasing interest in nutraceuticals for the Barcelona-based company. Gasso said that a patented fatty acid could see a fivefold growth for Brudy.
The Brudy name is already well known in Portugal and Spain, where it represents 6 per cent of total poultry sales with its DHA-enhanced chicken products. The company also produces eggs injected with DHA and other meat products with the added chemical.
The company began operations in January 2000, and expects to see profits of $1 million this year.