Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. (ONC) is the first in the industry to achieve self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status for an omega-3 concentrated 30:20 EE complex derived from fish oil.  An independent panel of experts has determined the product is safe for the general population when used as a food ingredient at specified levels.

"The real future growth in omega-3 fatty acids will be realized through functional food development," said Robert Orr, General Manager, ONC.  "We work with partners who are industry leaders in food development, and can offer a unique `first-to-market'
position."
 
By using a concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids, food manufacturers can provide a desired level of the vital nutrients eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) using a much smaller quantity of fish oil.  This means a lower cost per dose and minimal impact on food formulation, key success factors for launching new food products.

Achieving GRAS status is a major milestone for ONC successfully delivering high quality omega-3 concentrates in combination with the company's proprietary, cost efficient, high payload microencapsulation technology.  "ONC has developed an innovative, customer-driven technology paradigm for functional food ingredient delivery that offers a low cost-per-active and no impact on taste," added Orr.

Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) have through significant scientific research been associated with important cardiovascular protective attributes and risk reduction of cardiovascular disease.  Research has shown these cardioprotective benefits are attributed to long-chain PUFAs more so than the shorter chain omega-3s sourced from vegetable oil such as flax.  Other health benefits associated with long-chain omega-3s include acting as a natural anti-inflammatory that can aid in symptoms of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Further scientific evidence shows there may be a connection to neurological and other conditions such as Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Huntington disease, lending credence to the fact that for hundreds of years, fish has been referred to as "brain food."

Fatty fish are naturally rich sources of omega-3 LCPUFAs.  The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least two fish meals per week for the general population, and one fatty fish meal per day (or a fish oil supplement) for those with coronary heart disease.  However, today's busy lifestyles mean people generally do not meet these intake levels through meals.  In fact, the lack of omega-3s has been identified as the greatest potential nutritional deficiency in the North American diet. Incorporating
omega-3 fish oils as an ingredient in functional foods offers consumers a natural and convenient way to benefit from these health-enhancing properties as part of their daily routine.

The expert panel stated that a level of 0.6 g per serving of ONC's 30:20 EE complex from fish oil as an ingredient in specified food categories, resulting in a mean intake of 2.1 g per day of EPA and DHA combined, is considered safe for the general population.

The panel said this remains within safe levels of intake established by a large body of published animal and human studies.  Various studies show an intake level of 650 mg to 900 mg of EPA and DHA has beneficial effects, with daily requirements varying among the healthy population and those with cardiovascular disease. 

ONC is the only company in North America, and one of only six worldwide, able to produce commercial quantities of concentrated fish oil.  The company also offers a breadth of omega-3 fish oils.  All fish oil products are manufactured in facilities adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) quality standards, a point referenced in the expert panel's decision.  ONC also has sophisticated quality control and analytical laboratories for testing its products.  In addition, the company has two pilot plants for product development.

ONC - a world market leader in marine-based nutraceuticals - is a vertically integrated researcher and producer of dietary supplements and functional food ingredients.  ONC is a subsidiary of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. (CFFI), Canada's largest privately-owned seafood company.  Through this relationship, ONC derives many strategic advantages including access to pure, high quality marine-based materials.

For more information, contact Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. at (902) 457-2301, send us an e-mail at: info@ocean-nutrition.com, or visit us on the web: www.ocean-nutrition.com.