“This is part of our strategic mission to improve human health through sustainable and innovative omega-3 solutions,” Simon Riise, business development and sales manager at GC Rieber VivoMega, told NutraIngredients-USA. “Although it is still a relatively new and developing market, we see that both supply and demand are growing, catering to increased consumer interest and acceptance of alternative omega-3 sources.”
Founded in 1879 as a leather-trading company, the GC Rieber Group began fish oil production in 1920 and recently announced continued expansion of its concentrate factory on the western coast of Norway.
From fish to microalgae
Riise explained that GC Rieber has been exploring microalgae as alternative to fish oil for several years and that the added DHA omega-3 offering reflects not only algae oil’s strong sustainability story but also its significantly improved supply chain.
“Having a high potency plant-based omega-3 alternative and perceptions around sustainability are absolutely driving increased demand,” he said. “However, we don’t see this as a shift away from fish oils but as an alternative source of Omega-3.”
According to market research firm Technavio, the global algae omega-3 ingredient market is expected to grow by over $797 million at a CAGR of 11.95% during the 2021 to 2026 forecast period, with 36% of the growth concentrated in North America. In this marketplace, Riise said that it is quality, stability and consistency that sets VivoMega Algae Oil apart from other algae oil concentrates.
“We have leading TOTOX [Total Oxidation Value] parameters, and as far as I've seen, VivoMega’s Algae Oils are the only products with a ‘passed cold test’ on spec, meaning stability and clarity of the oil, down to 0 °C,” he said.
GC Rieber, which sources all its algae in Europe, currently offers a 700mg/g DHA VivoMega Algae Oil concentrate with a minimum of 90% triglycerides and is working on developing lower concentrations to complement the portfolio.
The algae oil is produced using GC Rieber’s proprietary SuperLight processing technology, designed and developed specifically to ensure a gentle and non-invasive processing of algae oils. A circular reflux system is tightly controlled to ensure low exposure to heat and oxygen for the preservation of fatty acid content.
“Both fish and algae oils require a unique approach due to the differences in fatty acid profile and the value of the raw material,” Riise said. “The latter forces us to keep an even tighter focus on raw material utilization, leaving minimal waste in production.”
It is distributed in the U.S. by Barrington Nutritionals and will debut at the Expo West tradeshow in Anaheim, CA on March 9-11.