The company first brought its microalgae-derived docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to the US market in 2003, with regulatory approval for its use in Europe cleared by the end of that year.
It said on Friday that first product launches containing its Nutrinova DHA brand in China are expected in 2005 with opportunities in other Asian countries 'under evaluation'.
The fatty acid is widely researched for its benefits in cardiovascular health and brain health, with recent studies also supporting its link to reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease. Fish oil producers have seen burgeoning demand for their products in recent months as consumer awareness grows.
While this awareness is at a much earlier stage in China compared to Europe, Nutrinova says there is strong potential for DHA products there, especially in infant nutrition with the country's history of child malnutrition.
"There is a lot of development work to be done but it is also a growing market. Both companies and government are promoting infant nutrition and this will be a strong application area," Dr Thomas Kiy, director of DHA at the firm told NutraIngredients.com.
He added: "There are also lots of concerns regarding the quality of fish oils in China."
Nutrinova, like US-based Martek that also makes DHA from microalgae, and unlike fish oil producers, can additionally target foods for vegetarian consumers.
The products are significantly more expensive than standard fish oils but Nutrinova says its DHActive also contains a much higher concentration of DHA (at least 43 per cent) and a lower amount of undesirable fatty acid.