The company, which is headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, will expand its molecular distillation plant in nearby Mulgrave in a move which it says will increase capacity for its flagship Meg-3 product by 100 per cent.
The investment follows soon after last year’s joint venture collaboration with edible oil and food manufacturer Alicorp S.A.A., whereby the company opened a second fish oil manufacturing plant in Peru, which ONC claims has increased capacity for its Meg-3 30 per cent concentration fish oil by 200 per cent.
Such a large investment flies in the face of recent suggestions that the omega-3 market is not as strong as manufacturers would have consumers believe. In recent months both Muller and Unilever have pulled omega-3 products from the shelves due to poor sales, and poor figures are often explained away by the market being still in its infancy.
ONC general manager Robert Orr was positive. “With the exponential growth in consumer demand for omega-3 food and supplement products we knew we had to be ahead of the game,” he said. “With our capacity expansion we are more than prepared to meet any supply demands for both our fish oil and micro-encapsulated ingredients. This capacity expansion secures out position as the world leader in the omega-3 dietary supplement and food industries, something we’re very proud of.”
Meg-3 is the brand name of the omega-3 fish oil manufactured by ONC, made from eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids. ONC produces both Meg-3 fish oil dietary supplements and concentrated Meg-3 powders to be used as food ingredients.
The company applies its patented powder-loc micro-encapsulation technology to its products, which protects the fish-derived omega-3 oil within a multi-shell inner matrix, itself protected by an outer shell. This creates a ‘double protection’ for the oil from both oxidation and the stress of food processing. Moreover, it prevents the release of fish flavour so that the product can be used in food preparation without spoiling the taste, and is usually used in the production of baked goods, milk, yoghurt, juice and nutrition bars.