At the origin of plant life, microalgae are a well-established source of health ingredients, and notably long-chain omega-3s such as DHA. Although microalgae represent a rich, sustainable and renewable source of various healthy compounds, not all species are equal with regards to the nutritional composition of their oil.
Close to the origins
Uncovering the unique health benefits of microalgae starts with understanding its rich biodiversity and knowing the ecosystems where one can source strains with specific features. All that while respecting both the principles and spirit of biodiversity regulations. Fermentalg has built a unique bank of over 2,000 algal strains during the past ten years. These have been purified and cryopreserved to maintain all their original benefits and represent a rich resource for current and future nutritional or food ingredients. All further work is then carried out from this bank, leaving nature undisturbed. The company then applies the centuries-old technique of fermentation to carefully-selected microalgae. The closed fermentation production process minimizes the need for essential resources such as water and energy as compared with open ponds. Where extraction is required to isolate specific health compounds, Fermentalg does so without resorting to organic solvents; keeping the product as natural and as close to its origins as possible. The whole process from strain bank to product is closely monitored in order to ensure a pure, consistent and sustainable supply as well as full traceability to food and supplement manufacturers.
Naturally high DHA concentration
Where Fermentalg sees high potential is in the area of strain development. Through traditional, non-GMO techniques algae strains can be improved to make more of the product that customers want, and less of the things that they don’t. A perfect example is the transition in the company’s DHA ORIGINS product line from a DHA-rich oil at standard concentration (350 mg/g DHA as FA) to a best-in-market concentration of 550 mg/g DHA as FA. This improvement was achieved completely using biology and thus provides a highly concentrated vegan oil that has not been subject to any chemical transformation and/or concentration steps. As well as being more naturally processed, the product allows for the same dose of DHA to be provided in a smaller volume.
Low in saturates
Fermentalg’s screening and processing expertise resulted in the recent launch of DHA ORIGINS 550. In addition to its high content in DHA, it is also naturally low in saturated fatty acids similar to olive oil as shown below.
Source : Fermentalg & Table de composition des aliments, Lavoisier-Tec et Doc Ed, Paris.
Fatty acids are currently the subject of an abundant literature. Increasing attention is being paid to the "good" and the "bad" sources of fatty acids for the human being. Although saturated fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of our metabolism, they tend to raise our cholesterol level. In particular, lauric (C12), myristic (C14) and palmitic (C16) acids are under increased scrutiny by dieticians who give preference to unsaturated fatty acids of vegetable origin. This has led the ANSES to recommend a combined daily intake of these three saturated fatty acids of less than 8% of the total energy supply to reach a balanced diet. It is therefore important to understand the type and the amount of saturated fatty acids ingested daily.
High in consumer benefits
Analytical data comparing the saturated fatty acid composition of commercially available DHA oils from Schizochytrium sp. demonstrate that DHA ORIGINS 550 has a content of only around 15% of saturated C12, C14 and C16 fatty acids whereas other algae-based DHA oils can reach up to 30% or higher.
Source : Fermentalg
Not only is DHA ORIGINS 550 low in saturates, it has a higher concentration of DHA so that the recommended daily intake of 250 mg of DHA can be placed into an easier-to-swallow small size capsule (10 oval) and with a healthier profile. This combination of low concentration saturates, high concentration DHA contributes to changing the ratio between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats in our diets and balancing our diets. A more concentrated DHA oil also allows to free up space in the capsule for more complex and innovative supplement formulations including other health actives such as vitamins, minerals or other extracts.
This new offering in the omega-3 landscape has already attracted a lot of attention. Stay tuned for a new wave of highly potent algae-based Fermentalg ingredients to become available for the health and nutrition market in the near future.
Fermentalg will be attending IFT in New Orleans, June 2th-5th.
Visit our experts at our US partner's Hawkins-Stauber booth #2637 to define how you can grow your omega-3 business.