More in Store
While this article focuses largely on the beverage space, make no mistake that these same companies are also expanding into increasingly varied—and creative—food uses for their marine ingredients. Here is just a sampling.
Bioriginal’s Phillips says that OmegaPure can be included in desserts, baked goods, condiments, cheeses, and bars. It also blends well in frozen treats like ice cream. In fact, the company says, OmegaPure even has the ability to improve the mouthfeel of these products.
Prinova’s Staack says the Oceans Omega stabilizing technology helped produce a commercial omega-3–fortified gelatin product with 32 mg of DHA per cup. “Other food products that are ideal for omega-3 fortification with this technology and have not seen much innovation over the years include gummy bears, applesauce, and gelatins,” he adds.
BASF’s Foley says, “Refrigerated dairy products that are low in fat and flavored, such as low-fat chocolate milk or fruit yogurt, are great candidates for omega-3 fortification.” Nutrition bars, as well as high-fat products like peanut butter, margarine, and salad dressing, are also ideal opportunities, he says.
Bromley says that Virun continues to “focus on even crazier concepts,” including an omega-3 EPA/DHA butter, astaxanthin red raspberry waffles (“with yummy EPA/DHA beadlets inside that taste like raspberry jam–infused berries”), and pancakes with 300 mg of DHA per pancake.
The bottom line is that marine ingredients can’t ignore the growing food and beverage market if they want to increase their exposure. “Mainstream foods and dietary supplements have got to be focus areas for producers of marine/algae-based ingredients,” says Marigot’s O’Leary. “So much opportunity exists, which with some innovation and product development focused on optimizing the critical areas of taste, color, and solubility, can achieve so much and present real alternatives for food companies that are actively looking to improve the nutritional impact of their finished food products.”
What about Krill?
Is krill oil getting in on all this food and beverage action? Not quite yet, according to krill oil specialist Aker BioMarine Antarctic (Oslo, Norway).
“Due to a history of technical limitations, as well as price, krill oil just hasn’t found life in foods and beverages like other omega-3 sources have,” says Becky Wright, marketing director, Aker BioMarine. “I don’t necessarily think it is more difficult” to include krill oil in food and beverage, she adds. “I just don’t think there has been a justification yet to explore these types of applications.”
But that’s not to say that krill oil couldn’t make its way into those products one day. “Now that krill oil has become the second-largest commercially available source of omega-3s EPA/DHA, I think many companies, including ours, will start pursuing this market more strongly in the future,” Wright says. “The application of omega-3s EPA/DHA from marine sources, mainly algae and fish oil, has had some success in foods and beverages. And given their success, we are confident that krill oil will also have a place in this market in the coming years.”