Benny Antony, joint managing director at Arjuna Natural Extracts, spoke with NutraIngredients-USA at the SupplySide West Arjuna had its start more than two decades ago as an extracts company working on the spices common in the Indian diet. One of the company’s flagship products along that line is BCM 95, a highly bioavailable curcumin extract. But Antony said that in about 2000 the company realized that there was large potential for omega-3 products in the Indian market, which was being underserved.
“We were the first company in India to start work on omega-3s purification and in 2002 we started making 50% concentrate omega-3. We now cover about 80% of the market in India,” he said.
Antony said Arjuna was attempting to compete on the international market with its omega-3 ingredients when it first brought its mid level concentrates on the market but made a decision in 2007 to step back and concentrate on supplying the domestic market. With the launch of its new ingredient the company marks a return to international stage for omega-3s.
The new ingredient is an ethyl ester form that is a sardine oil that is purified and concentrated to 90% total omega-3s (80% EPA and DHA), which approaches the concentrations of the pharmaceutical ingredients. That high level of concentration offers some distinct benefits to the consumer, Antony said. Consuming lower grade fish oils means consumers must take in an unnecessary amount of fat, he said.
“A larger quantity of softgels or capsules can lead to over consumption and overdoses of unnecessary additives just to achieve your daily-recommended dose of omega-3 PUFAs,” Antony said. “We developed a high-concentrate omega-3 PUFA that enables daily intake in just one capsule or one liquid ‘shot’ per day.”
“We examined a range of fish rich in omega-3 and selected a specific sardine type for our ingredient. With growing concern over the health of the seas, people are turning to sardines since they are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding solely on plankton. They have a shorter lifecycle than other fish, and accumulate fewer toxins during their lifecycle,” he said.