Cargill debuts flax/canola omega-3 blend

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill is launching a new omega-3, canola/flaxseed blend containing up to 30 percent ALA it says will enable food manufacturers to employ omega-3, nutrient content claims.

The patent-pending ingredient, Clear Valley, has achieved self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status.

Cargill was not available for further details before publication but said in a statement that 160mg of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) would be available in most applications.

This allows it to employ the “good source” ​or “excellent source”​ of ALA omega-3 nutrient content claims approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However the FDA has been reviewing these claims and some industry observers believe they may be scrapped in the near- to mid-future. But for now they live on.

Cargill is showcasing its new ingredient at the IFT trade show in Chicago this month in the form of a heart health, canola bar that also contains its Barliv beta-glucan ingredient.

The company is highlighting the ingredient’s taste neutrality, a nine month shelf life and formulation ease in its materials.

The applications it is most suited to are cookies, cereal bars, crackers, snacks and spreads, Cargill said.

American Heart Association figures indicate 63 percent of Americans are trying to add omega-3 into their diets with 76 percent of consumers using heart healthy products in the past 12 months, according to the Natural Marketing Institute.

The ingredient would, “help manufacturers who want to seamlessly deliver heart-healthy products to this market,” ​said Willie Loh, PhD, vice president of Cargill’s oils and shortenings business.

The company added: “Incorporating the volume of polyunsaturated oil required to make an omega-3 claim is difficult in products that already have a low fat content, such as crackers and cereals. In addition, fish oil, a primary source of omega-3s, can impart a ‘fishy’ taste and does not possess a long shelf life.”

Cargill launched a fish oil ingredient in 2007 but said the last year the ingredient was no longer under development as it wanted to focus on other offerings such as phytosterols, inulin, alternative sweeteners, beta-glucan and ARA (arachidonic acid).

Frost & Sullivan estimates the omega-3 supply market will be worth $1.6bn by 2014.

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