The use of fish oils in food has been limited owing to the smell that develops during storage in powder form.
Lipid Nutrition has added the carbohydrate mannitol to its Marinol omega-3 product to improve the stability and prevent the notorious smell of fish oil when in powder form.
"Mannitol is a very common ingredient in the food industry but the use of mannitol in this application for oxygen scavenging is quite new," Arnold Broek, applications manager at the firm told NutraIngredients.com.
"There are some indications of its use in Japanese literature but not for its use in fish oil," he explained.
Tests on the product, called Marinol Omega-3 HS Powder, have demonstrated its improved stability and organoleptic properties.
It is designed for use in dry products such as bakery products as well as dairy and beverages, where the volumes of product being produced are not sufficient to warrant special equipment necessary to formulate milk or other products with added omega-3 oil.
"The cost of the powder is relatively expensive but the price is not so significant when you look at its suitability for particular applications," noted Broek.
There is a large body of evidence demonstrating the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, prompting increased demand for their addition to foods. The European market for omega-3 PUFAs is now said to be worth €161 million and growing around 8 per cent annually.
But many of the drinks and other omega-3 fortified foods currently available on the market use plant-derived fatty acids for their preferable smell. Lipid Nutrition argues that these fatty acids do not offer the same high concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as fish oils.