Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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naturalproductsinsider . com 47 study found a 1 g/d increase of ALA intake was associated with a 10 percent decrease in fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. 12 "It should also be noted that fl axseed has been found to signifi cantly reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, although it is not yet clear whether that effect is solely due to its ALA omega-3 content, or whether it is the ALA omega-3 working in combination with fl axseed's other components, including lignans and fi ber," 13 said Julie Faber, director of marketing and compliance, Pizzey Ingredients. In the United States, manufacturers can make structure/function (S/F) claims like "ALA omega-3s in fl axseed support heart health," Faber noted. Another meta-analysis found EPA and DHA positively affected serum markers of CVD risk by reducing triglycerides and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol. 14 EPA has been studied extensively for its benefi ts on heart health, uncovering EPA's potential to benefi t people with heart failure. 15 A review and meta-analysis in patients with heart failure concluded fi sh oils are associated with improved cardiac performance. 16 The evidence supporting EPA and DHA's impact on the heart prompted another claim approved by EFSA supporting EPA and DHA for heart health. Furthermore, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) stated intakes of EPA and DHA between 2 g/d and 4 g/d are needed to reach claimed effects such as the maintenance of blood pressure and triglyceride levels, further postulating 250 mg/d is an adequate intake for the maintenance of general cardiovascular health among healthy adults and children. Where to Get Omega-3s? EPA and DHA omega-3s are commonly derived from marine sources, although Marshall noted "the organoleptic of marine taste can be diffi cult to hide in various formulations." She added formulating a high-quality product takes manufacturing precision to mask off tastes, as well as protect the product from oxidation. "There are many ways to formulate omega-3s in products and delivery systems, and innovative ways continue to be discovered on a regular basis," she explained. "In addition to traditional liquids and capsules for omega-3 products, both fi sh and algae oil are now found in gummies, soft chews, powders and even smoothie-like blends—all because of new emulsifi cation technology." However, it's important to consider the actual omega-3 content and ratio of EPA to DHA, and whether an oil is in triglyceride, ethyl ester (EE) or phospholipid form, said Sarah Christianslund, product marketing manager, EPAX Omega-3 at Pelagia. Typically, a fi sh oil will not contain more than 30 to 35 percent EPA and DHA unless it has been concentrated, she explained. EEs of EPA and DHA (ethyl-EPA and ethyl-DHA), Offer said, are concentrated sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that provide more EPA and DHA per gram of oil. It's also crucial to consider how the oils will be affected during the manufacturing process. "Polyunsaturated oils are less stable than saturated fats, and will require more attention to detail when formulating," Christianslund said. "Applications high in fat which are chilled or frozen are preferable to those with long shelf life in ambient temperature when formulating with omega-3s." Dietary sources of ALA mainly include plant oils, such as fl axseed and chia. Flaxseed has been formulated into ready-to-mix (RTM) drinks, bars and baked goods, Faber said. "ALA omega-3 is also the only omega-3 that has been recognized by the Institute of Medicine [IOM] as being essential, as our bodies cannot produce it," Faber added. Supplementation is an easy way to obtain suffi cient levels of omega-3s, but consumers looking for dietary sources of EPA and DHA can also seek foods central to the Mediterranean diet, such as marine fi sh. "The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can be synthesized from ALA, but due to low conversion effi ciency, it is recommended to obtain EPA and DHA from additional sources," Offer explained. Functional foods and beverages are an increasingly good option. Mohammed Marzuk, research scientist, KGK Sciences, pointed to examples of food commonly enriched with omega-3s, including mayonnaise, salad dressings, milk and yogurt products, and fi tness bars. "Additionally, liquid oil delivery methods which offer benefi ts of quicker absorption are becoming more commonplace," he said. According to Marzuk, "A review of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)- maintained Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) revealed there to currently be 2,101 products containing EPA; 2,340 products containing DHA; and 442 products containing ALA." However, innovators in the space should consider formulating more DHA in products, as Marzuk explained the ratio of EPA to DHA in omega-3 products is not optimal. "In order to boost omega-3s in the products without signifi cantly increasing the cost, most fi sh oil products contain much more EPA than DHA," he said. It's important for product developers to continue formulating new omega-3 products to support consumers in their quest for a healthy lifestyle. Courtney Johnson graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and is currently pursuing her master's degree in media and communications. She has always been passionate about health and wellness. She also has past experience as an INSIDER editor, where she interviewed industry experts and wrote blogs and articles on the health and nutrition industry. You can connect with her on LinkedIn: johnson-b3533b108 Omega-3s For a list of references, email In addition to traditional liquids and capsules for omega-3 products, both fish and algae oil are now found in gummies, soft chews, powders and even smoothie-like blends—all because of new emulsification technology.

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