The Irish firm is looking to tap into the omega-3 market, specifically towards use in functional foods. Manitoba-headquartered Pizzey's mills flaxseeds for lignans and omega-3, but has now added fish oil into the mix for its added benefits. "The health benefits of Omega-3's are well known to the consumer and this acquisition marks Glanbia's entry into a complementary sector that is exhibiting strong growth," said Jerry O'Dea, CEO and president of Glanbia Nutritionals Americas. "Pizzey's innovation in combining milled flax/fish oil is indeed a breakthrough as omega-3's from fish oil can now easily be incorporated into a range of food applications." Pizzey's recently introduced two new ingredients under its Meadowpure flaxseed brand - one to meet demand for organic flaxseed and the other incorporating fish oil to overcome the EPA/DHA versus ALA debate. Flaxseed yields the shorter chain fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is less bioavailable than DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from fatty fish. Pizzey's claims the high antioxidant acid content of its flaxseed ingredient allows it to stabilize the fish oil. The final result of the combination is an ingredient with a shelf life of up to one year. The company claims the ingredient does not compromise the taste or smell of food. Omega-3 is a trend few nutraceutical ingredients firms with an interest in functional foods want to miss out on. According to Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, omega-3 will reach $7bn in sales worldwide by 2011. In 2006, this figure stood at $2bn, and the boom over the past four years has followed the lipid ingredient's move into mainstream food and beverage. The optimal nutritional content of fish oil has been bogged down in the past by delivery options, which food manufacturers have increasing overcome through technologies such as microencapsulation - meaning fishy taste is no longer such a big issue. Glanbia says it will use its significant investment in innovation and research, as well as its sales and marketing structure, to support development of Pizzey's ingredients. Pizzey's has an additional sales and distribution facility in Gurnee, Illinois, while Glanbia's US operations are located in Monroe, Wisconsin.