Supply chain revamp leads to new line of algal omega-3 concentrates

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images /  Yana Pavlova
Getty Images / Yana Pavlova

Related tags: Algal DHA, algae oil, omega-3, Sustainability

New omega-3 concentrates have recently entered the North American supplement market. Algarithm Ingredients just added thetamega3 to their lineup of vegan Omega-3s, which are derived from the co-stream of their alphamega3 oils.

The company produces ocean-friendly, vegan omega-3 ingredients derived from micro-algae. Algarithm’s strain was wild-sourced in Canada's Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, and is processed in North America using a proprietary, solvent-free, water-based extraction method. 

Supply chain overhaul

While reviewing its supply chain, Algarithm said it found a more cost effective and sustainable way to create this new line of concentrates. 

“As an algal omega-3 supplier, sustainability is a cornerstone of our business and brand, so it is important to us that we are making the most of the raw materials we use. We knew that there was a small amount of residual DHA in the co-stream from processing our alphamega3 oils, so we made recovery of any useable DHA a priority and set to the task of developing a method of recapturing this valuable ingredient," ​explained Kati Phillips, Algarithm marketing director. "The result of this focus is the thetamega3 line of algal omega-3 concentrates."

Phillips highlighted three newly found advantages:

  1. It converts what would otherwise be wasted omega-3 fatty acids into a useable product, thereby extending the use of raw materials.
  2. Higher concentrations of DHA in the finished-product allow Algarithm to meet demand from formulators in the supplement industry for higher-potency omega-3 ingredients.
  3. By utilizing the co-stream of alphamega3 production and recovering additional DHA, the company is able to provide a high-potency algal omega-3 ingredient to the market at a comparatively low cost.

Thetamega making 

The thetamega3 line is a series of re-esterified Omega-3 ingredients, produced through precise secondary distillation of the co-stream derived from Algarithm’s alphamega3 algal Omega-3 oils.

Phillips explained that the starting material for thetamega3 is carefully converted to ethyl ester form, so that they can better remove impurities and free fatty-acids. It is then distilled to remove the non-desirable fatty acids, leaving only DHA or EPA in high concentration. Once concentrated, the product is re-esterified into triglyceride (r-TG form).

“The result of this fine-tuned, expert-led processing is an r-TG product that is not only potent but boasts the highest triglyceride composition — greater than 90% triglyceride and less than 1% ethyl esters — of any algal omega-3 concentrate on the market today. This results in superior sensory performance and a product that honors the natural form of our pristine algal source of omega-3s,”​ said Phillips. 

Clean taste, more space 

“Demand for certain types of products containing our omega-3s has increased during this time as people learn more about the benefits of regularly taking omega-3s, particularly the reduction of inflammation and immune support,”​ noted Phillips.

Conversely, she added that the main reason people stop taking omega-3s is due to a poor sensory experience (fishy burps). “So thetamega3 adds to Algarithm’s offering of clean-tasting, high-quality omega-3 ingredients which enables more people to maintain a routine where they can enjoy taking omega 3 supplements.”

Phillips said these concentrates offer a cleaner taste due to minimal processing and because their final composition is less than 1% ethyl esters and over 90% triglyceride (30% higher than the industry standard).

The potency allows for reduced capsule size without sacrificing room for other ingredients, offering more versatility for clients, she added. 

“The thetamega3 line allows us to offer customers greater formulation flexibility at a highly competitive price while reducing our environmental impact,”​ noted Ben Kelly, Algarithm managing director.

Algarithm said their concentrates are best suited for supplement and nutraceutical applications where dosage and/or capsule size are key considerations. The new ingredient is currently available in a 650mg/g DHA formula, with a 750 mg/g DHA formula and an EPA-only formula on the way.

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