Aker BioMarine discusses its new algae DHA ingredient, FloraMarine, at Expo West 2024

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Nutritional Outlook talks to Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine, about the company's new algae DHA ingredient, FloraMarine.

Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine on the demand for fish oil, and the need for alternative sources:

"Krill will still be our hero product and I think it plays a vital role and it's a very potent form of omega-3, that phospholipid form. [Algae DHA offers] an opportunity for growth with a product that fits very well for us and when we talk about sustainability, I mean algae, you can have a low CO2 footprint, you have zero marine footprint out of it, so it's a good, sustainable source, but sustainability in this omega-3 space has a different angle too. And that is just kind of product availability. And right now the industry is already starting to feel that the product availability for fish oil omega-3 is starting to be difficult, and I believe it's going to be much harder in the future.

"I mean, Aker BioMarine's business is partially in the human space, but the other part is in aquaculture and the biggest consumer of omega-3s from fish today is the aquaculture industry, and they are growing and growing and growing.

"And as they've been growing in the last decades, they've been just optimizing the feed of those salmon and shrimps. So they have taken down the usage of omega-3 to a level where they can't reduce it any further. So the last couple of years, the demand from the aquaculture industry is starting to grow with the industry growth, 4-5% per year, while the access to fish oil is flat. And that's what we're feeling right now. And you have a bad fishing season in the Peru on top of that.

"But long term has nothing to do with the situation in Peru right now. It's going to be a squeeze and it's so profitable, especially in the salmon farming industry. So even if omega-3 price goes high, they will still be able to buy. So this problem we're facing now with the availability of omega-3s is just going to be worse in the future.

"And that's why it's so important to have other sources of omega-3s, krill is one, but it's a premium expensive one. But algae can be there and be a competitive price-wise alternative to fish oil."

Read about the ingredient's announcement here.

Updated on March 20, 2024 at 5:25 PM

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