Martek takes life'sDHA to Spain
Spain with its branded vegetarian omega-3 ingredient, life'sDHA.
The Columbia, Maryland company is taking the ingredient that has been widely used in infant formula in the US market to infant yoghurt across the pond. Central Lechera Asturiana has launched a new ABC infant yogurt with life'sDHA (docosahexaenoic acid ). Martek's strong position in the US has been made more precarious by recent regulatory changes allowing fish oil-derived DHA to also be used in infant formula. Martek was the first company to use the micro algae-derived omega-3 fatty acid in infant formula, and went on to capitalize the US market where it claimed to supply over 80 percent of all DHA in infant formula. The ABC infant yoghurts are available in major supermarket chains throughout Spain and are marketed for infant brain and eye health. "New ABC infant yogurt with life'sDHA demonstrates the growing global awareness of the health benefits of DHA for infants and children," said Steve Dubin, CEO of Martek Biosciences. The deal represents a crossing of two trends - that of omega-3 ingredients and functional dairy products. Estimates put the European omega-3 at around €160m in 2004, with Frost and Sullivan and Euromonitor International forecasting average annual growth of eight per cent to 2010. Leatherhead Food International is presently conducting research with the aim of providing an up-to-date figure. Sales of functional dairy products, meanwhile, are set to rise 48 per cent in Western Europe and 37 per cent in the US up to 2010, according to market research group Euromonitor International. The disadvantage of omega-3 derived from marine algae is that is lacks the EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) found in oily and is linked to anti-inflammatory benefits.