The joint venture between Quebec-based Neptune, the world's biggest krill oil supplier, and a significant global fish oil player and ingredients supplier in Croda, presents a range, called Essentially, that comprises five variants, each branded and targeting a specific health benefit. However, supplements manufacturers will not be required to bear the ingredient branding on their products. Croda marketing manager Paul Kollesoff said the joint venture added dynamism to Croda's Incromega range of fish oils as the high levels of phospholipids and astaxanthan present in Neptune's NKO krill oil boosted the functionality of fish oils. He said Incromega focused on cardiovascular health but Essentially offered greater possibility such as joint, mood and skin benefits and offered 800-1600mg of DHA/EPA depending on the formulation. Phospholipids are known to improve the bioavailability of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in the bloodstream and are abundant in krill but not in fish oils. For this reason, Krill has been gaining a lot of attention as an omega-3+-type ingredient in a growing omega-3 market that Croda estimates is worth €256m. However the debut of the Essentials range will depend on European Union Novel Foods approval for NKO, which Kollesoff said "is imminent - within a month." Essentials will be launched at Supply Side East in New Jersey at the end of the month and at Vitafoods in Geneva, Switzerland at the beginning of May. Bandwagons and brand bragging "A lot of people have been jumping on the krill bandwagon but with this new material we have a clinically validated range of products that is more than just an omega-3 product," Kollesoff told NutraIngredients.com. "The combination with NKO gives rise to a number of clinical effects and synergistically enhances the products we already have." He said the companies had spent 18 months developing the range that is made up of Essentially Heart (cardiovascular health), Essentially Agile (joints and bone health), Essentially Happy (mood), Essentially Woman (skin health and Post Menstrual Syndrome symptoms) and Essentially Mind (cognitive function). "Today, market share and growth in the omega-3 market is driven by consumers demanding a wider choice of innovative and high quality products targeting specific health conditions as offered," Croda said in a statement. Neptune's chief scientific officer, Dr Tina Sampalis, said: "We work closely with our partners through R&D to develop optimised products that are meeting our partners' and Neptune's rigorous quality standards. According to our partnership and pipeline strategy, we continue to work with other industry leaders on new product opportunities which will lead to further alliances in the future." Neptune was recently granted a European matter and composition patent for some of its krill-based formulations and chemical compositions although the patent has been opposed by Norwegian supplier Aker BioMarine and Israeli-based Enzymotec.