Martek gets added approval for food-use DHA

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Related tags: Docosahexaenoic acid, Martek

Martek Biosciences said yesterday that the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has completed a favorable review of its safety
data on the former Omega Tech DHA product, currently being marketed
by the company for use in food applications.

The ingredient, which is derived from a different alga than Martek's DHA authorized for infant formula use, did not need to be reviewed by the company's generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notification but Martek said the extra approval provides further indication of future food safety.

The company says it is working with several food manufacturers to include its DHA in products including yogurt, cheese and nutrition bars. The DHA oil is designed specifically for use as a food ingredient, manufactured using technology obtained from OmegaTech, bought in 2002.

There is growing demand for foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to play an important role in protecting heart health. While most omega-3 products come from fish oil, Martek can promote its product as vegetarian and free from any associations with contamination of fish stocks.

The company, which last year reported its first profits since founding in 1985, is currently expanding production capacity for its microalgae-derived DHA, in response to a significant boost in demand over the last two years.

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