TODAY: NutraIngredients-USA's Omega-3 Forum

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

TODAY: NutraIngredients-USA's Omega-3 Forum

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid

The omega-3s market has returned to mid single digit growth, which is one of the topics that will be discussed during a free online forum hosted by NutraIngredients-USA.

Already in mid-2016 the Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) had released a report on the size of the finished products market. GOED said that market had topped $31 billion globally in 2015​, which included omega-3s as food additives as well as in dietary supplements. The global growth rate was estimated to be 5% through 2016 (GOED compiles its annual report in early summer) and all indicators show that growth has continued. 

This is welcome news after a market contraction in 2014.  The flat spot was brought about by the publication of some equivocal studies and was exacerbated by a dearth of advertising in the sector.  That latter issue was partially remedied by a promotional campaign sponsored by GOED and industry partners.​  The panel will look at what forces continue to shape the market and whether continuing promotional efforts might be called for.  The previous campaign, spearheaded by GOED executive director Adam Ismail, had something of a backs-to-the-wall aspect to it. Is continued promotion called for?

Faster growth projected

As for the supply end of the market, one research firm has put out a rosy projection of a 14.6% CAGR for the period of 2016-2022​, with the global market hitting almost $7 billion by that time. This is for EPA and DHA in all applications, including fish feed and pet food.

GOED is now in its 11th year of promoting the omega-3s industry.  A foundation of the organization​, a voluntary specification and quality standard adhered to by members.  Panel members will discuss the impact the monograph has had on the stability and integrity of the sector, and where those aspects can be further shored up.

Sustainability concerns

fish and krill
Image © iStock

Panel members will also discuss the sustainability that issues continue to hover over the industry. The lion’s share of omega-3s continue to come from the ocean one way or another, and global climate change is a threat to these supplies. The oceans are warning and becoming more acidic as they absorb excess carbon dioxide. The impact on supplies has yet to be determined.

Omega-3s can be produced via algae as well.  DHA from heterotrophic algae, pioneered by Martek (now part of DSM), is a significant market in infant nutrition and functional foods, and EPA from photosynthetic algae is just starting to hit the market. The panel discussion will look at what role algal will likely play in the overall market, and whether the huge and accelerating demand from the feed sector could divert some of these ingredients away from human nutrition.

Along with Ismail, the panel’s participants are: Sam Wiley, CEO of Wiley’s Finest, a vertically integrated fish oil supplements manufacturer based in Ohio; William Harris, PhD, co-inventor of the Omega Index, CEO of testing firm OmegaQuant and an adjunct senior scientist at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota; and Jonathan Clinthorne, a specialist supervisor in dietary supplement procurement for Natural Grocers, a 130-store chain of health food stores in the western U.S.

The forum will take place at 10 am Central Time on April 18th, 2017.  To register, click HERE​.

The forum is sponsored by Polaris Nutritional Lipids​ and DSM Meg-3

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