Bioriginal Food & Science Corporation previously focussed on omega-6 and flaxseed ingredients from the prairies. Although these sources have their uses, particularly for vegetarians and non fish-eaters, they also have limitations. Flaxseed yields the shorter chain fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is less bioavailable than DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), typically from fatty fish.
The company has previously offered fish oils, but its newest ingredient boasts premium purity and uses fish heads from an indisclosed location near the Seychelles. Containing 25 percent naturally occurring DHA, BioPure is presented as a natural alternative to molecularly-distilled DHA concentrates.
Bioriginal fish oil category coordinator Jodie Bregenser told NutraIngredients-USA.com that Biopure's high-potency oil is especially suited for dietary supplements geared towards children or older consumers who can't swallow larger soft gel capsules.
DHA is coveted as a building block of the brain that supports cognition, eye health, mood and memory and it is found mainly in oily fish and marine algae.
Located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Bioriginal's North American office is approximately 750 miles from the nearest stretch of sea water, yet the manufacturer says this will not adversely affect it in its pursuit of more bioavailable DHA. It could even be advantageous says the company.
Biopure is sourced "quite a distance from traditional fishing areas" in zones that are not industrial and therefore have few pollutants.
"There's always a concern about contaminants," said Bregenser.
The company says the fish head source further reduces the risk of contamination, thereby bypassing any ingested pollutants still in the digestive system.
"What we've found is more and more people are looking for a naturally source of DHA," said Bregenser.
The proprietary extraction process in a temperature controlled environment is said to further reduce the risk of oxidation and minimize fishy odor and flavor.
There may be opportunites for hybrid ingredients combining BioPure with other ingredients in the company's line up.
"We can add the benefits of plants to fish oil," Bregenser said, adding that Bioriginal can customise a mix of its plant and fish oil omega-3 ingredients for clients.
An increasing body of science has favored the longer chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) over the shorter-chain ALA. EPA is also sourced from marine fish oils, while an alternative source of DHA is microalgae.
The manufacturer of essential fatty acids was established in the landlocked province of Saskatchewan, bordering Montana and North Dakota to the North, in order to supply a line of borage (starflower) and flaxseed oil ingredients. Bioriginal's existing branded BioAsteri borage oil is rich in omega-6 GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and its proprietary flax ingredient BioFlaxElite contains ALA.
"But trends in the market have led us to other marine sources of fatty acids," said Bregenser.
In 2005, fish oil supplements grew 56 percent in the health and nutrition channel and 36 percent in the conventional retail channels, with DHA products dominating this category, according to nutrition market analyst SPINS Scan Data.
BioPure has been in development for approximately a year and will be launched at Supply Side West in Las Vegas next week. Bioriginal contracted testing of BioPure to a third party - Saskatchewan-based research and developer POS Pilot Plant Corporation.