The Greensboro, North Carolina manufacturer's line of branded Duromega organic oil powders is now certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) to meet US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements for organic foods. The company says this gives organic food manufacturers access to the market for omega-3 fortification. "This will allow them to incorporate the benefits of essential fatty acids into a variety of organic foods and beverages," said Innobioactives (Innobio) CEO Wenzhong Wu. Organic food sales have increased 132 percent since 2002, while organic beverage sales have risen 97 percent over the same period, according to Mintel. The market analyst values the entire organic food and beverage industry at nearly $6bn. Health concerns as well as recent food safety concerns have been driving this market, says Mintel, and have pushed it into a mainstream phenomenon. And according to another market researcher, Packaged Facts, omega-3 enriched foods make up the strongest sector of the functional foods market - and there is still room there for significant growth. The market for these goods has grown from approximately $100m to more than $2bn in four years. The firm predicts this category will reach $7bn in sales by 2011. Innobio says it has developed a proprietary micro-encapsulation process which allows Duromega to be formulated into liquid and powder mixes. Micro-encapsulation is a growing delivery method for omega-3 fish oils in the functional food, as it allows for taste masking and overcomes stability issues associated with the ingredient. The company says its technology permits lowered surface oil content, as well as consistent particle size and oil content. Innobioactives' new ingredient is available through its subsidiary, Synnovo, which specializes in lipids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for use in food, supplements and cosmetics. The line of Duromega organic powdered oils includes flaxseed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, green tea oil, olive oil, perilla oil, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil.