dsm-firmenich teams with SCN BestoCo for omega-3 gummy innovation

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Shutterwolf / Getty Images
© Shutterwolf / Getty Images

Related tags Algae omega-3 Gummies DSM-Firmenich

Global health and nutrition company dsm-firmenich is partnering with U.S. supplement manufacturer SCN BestCo to package high-dose, algae-derived omega-3 gummies that overcome traditional formulation challenges and address sustainability issues in the fish oil supply chain.

“Omega-3s are one of the world’s most well-recognized supplements, prized for their broad benefits in human health,” said Judy Underwood-Brooks, senior director of North America sales at dsm-firmenich. “But despite high omega-3 awareness, innovating new formats within this realm has remained challenging—until now.”

The strategic alliance responds to the increasing preference for gummies as easy-to-supplement format and the growing market for alternative sources of omega-3 across mental, cognitive, eye, heart, metabolic, cardiovascular, bone and joint health categories.

Developing omega-3 gummies

According to dsm-firmenich, traditional omega-3 gummy formats typically contain less than 100 mg EPA+DHA per two-piece serving because of the sensitive nature of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Factors like oxidation, light, heat, storage and handling, water and the structure of DHA/EPA itself have made it historically difficult to achieve high dosage levels while preserving sensory qualities. 

To address these challenges, dsm-firmenich developed life’s OMEGA​ O33-P10, which it explains encases its algae oil into POWDER LOC technology, a new powder designed to protect the EPA and DHA within a fortified shell system to deliver doses exceeding 400 mg EPA+DHA per two-gummy serving. 

“Other technologies use a single shell to encapsulate the oil, which is more vulnerable to chemical and thermal conditions during gummy manufacturing processing,” said Chris Kalodis, North America marketing manager at dsm-firmenich. “POWDER LOC is a superior technology as it provides a double shell encapsulation, protecting the oil from oxidation.” 

The process also integrates a specialized antioxidant blend to provide additional stabilization for omega-3s and employs flavor masking ingredients to improve sensory perception.

Turning to algae omega-3s

Kalodis highlighted that a rapidly growing global population, climate change and environmental shifts are putting immense strain on wild ocean fisheries, with the effects of El Niño contributing to the cancellation of major anchovy fishing seasons.

“As a result, significant shortages are expected next year, which are contributing to the rapid and sustained spike in crude fish oil prices—now at almost five times recent historic levels,” he added. “Alternative plant-based sources of EPA and DHA, such as life’s ​OMEGA​ algal oils, are subsequently a top priority for brands who are not only looking to innovate sustainably but to also secure supply and price certainty.”

A year prior to the completion of its merger with Swiss firm Firmenich in May 2023, Dutch firm Royal DSM announced the expansion of its life​’s portfolio of algal-sourced omega-3 products, adding life​’s OMEGA O1030DS with EPA and DHA from a single, sustainable source and life​’s OMEGA Ultra, the company’s most potent form of algal omega-3.

These ingredients are manufactured using proprietary precision fermentation of a natural, non-GMO algae grown in a controlled, enclosed and inland environment. 

Asked if algal-derived omega-3s are more suited to gummy development than fish-derived omega-3s, Kalodis said, “Algal oils are naturally more potent than standard fish oils; encapsulating an algal oil with POWDER LOC, you inherently increase the omega-3 content of the powder.”

He added that SCN BestCo partners with third-party labs to ensure all products meet label requirements and are of the highest possible quality at production and throughout the stated shelf-life of a product. 

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