Martek targets school meals with Life'sDHA

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Martek Docosahexaenoic acid

Martek Biosciences's vegetarian omega-3, life'sDHA, is set to
appear in a cheese sauce geared at US children.

The microalgae-derived DHA ingredient will be featured in Ricos Cheese Sauce, which Martek said is sold to schools throughout the US. According to company, the cheese sauce will provide 32mg of DHA per serving in the standard foodservice packaging. Food manufacturers and nutritionists have long been trying to get the omega-3 DHA into children's diets, but the move reflects a new push into schools and foodservice for children. "This product breaks new ground for Martek's life'sDHA(TM) on two fronts," said Steve Dubin, Martek's CEO. "First, by being a foodservice product and second, by being our initial offering in the school foodservice market." The company has invested heavily into research and development. In its most recent financial results, Martek revealed expenses of $6.3mn, in the second quarter over the previous year, devoted to developing new food and beverage applications for life'sDHA - as well as expanding the scientific evidence behind the omega-3 ingredient. Martek's latest food ingredient deal was recently announced. The company is taking life'sDHA to Spanish dairy manufacturer Central Lechera Asturianal, for use in its ABC infant yogurt. Because it is made from microalgae under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions, Martek boasts life'sDHA as being free from the contaminants that may be present in fish oils. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) plays a crucial role in brain and eye development and function. Located in San Antonio, Texas, Ricos Products supplies a line of snack foods to over 40 countries. Sold to schools throughout the USA, the cheese sauce will provide 32 mg of DHA per serving in packaging of number ten cans, 15 oz cans and 140 oz pouches, as well as a 3.5 oz single serve cup containing 50mg of DHA. Martek's latest food ingredient deal was with Breyers for its Smart Yoghurt range. Through the venture, Martek extended its focus beyond its core infant nutrition yoghurt ranges, to consumers of all ages throughout the US. The company is also taking life'sDHA to Spanish dairy manufacturer Central Lechera Asturianal, for use in its ABC infant yogurt. In 2006, Ocean Nutrition Canada made a similar announcement North of the border, for the bringing omega-3 to school lunches in the province of Ontario. The omega-3 manufacturer teamed up with school supplier Good Foods Enterprises with a cookie containing its proprietary fish oil ingredient MEG-3.

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