March 29, 2012 — Results of a U.S. consumer survey, conducted by Salt Lake City-based Discovery Research Group and released last week, suggest that more than a third of American supplement users — 37 percent — would prefer a source other than fish oil for their omega-3s.
Algae Biosciences Inc. will soon begin commercial production of its ultra-pure omega-3 fatty acid oils, sourced from marine algae and grown in abundant Arizona sunlight, at its production facilities in the high desert plains near Holbrook.
When asked why they disliked fish oil, survey respondents, as reported by NutraIngredients-USA.com, gave reasons such as bad taste, bad aftertaste, fishy burps, bad smell, and large capsule size.
Dr. Mark Edwards, AlgaeBio’s vice-president of corporate development and Marketing, has long felt the so-called “yuck factor” is a significant deterrent for fish oil-sourced omega-3 supplements.
“Many people are turned off by the unpleasant fish taste — and, even worse, the awful fishy burps — after ingesting omega-3 from fish,” says Edwards.
“Depleting the small fish in the ocean, and disrupting the marine food chain, is also a strong argument against fish-based omega-3s,” adds Edwards, a noted author and Arizona State University professor, whose recent work has focused on world hunger and sustainable energy with green solutions. “Globally, virtually every fishery is in decline due to overexploitation.”
In all, 705 American consumers were polled in the Discovery Research Group survey — all of whom take a multivitamin or other nutritional supplement, and confirmed an interest in overall health and fitness.
The survey was carried out in partnership with krill oil supplier Aker BioMarine Antarctic US — and NutraIngredients-USA.com reports that an executive with the company “acknowledged that algal omega-3 suppliers would also draw encouragement from the findings.”
AlgaeBio and Global Health Trax of Vista, Calif., have in place a sales and distribution contract that gives GHT exclusive rights to purchase and distribute AlgaeBio’s ultra-pure, omega-3 fatty acid oils to the nutraceutical, food additive, and animal feed markets.
Later this spring, AlgaeBio will complete a $5-million, first-phase expansion process at its production facilities, and begin large-scale commercial production of its highly regarded algal oils. The initial output of AlgaeBio’s algal oils will contain equal parts of the long-chain essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) at a blended ratio of 40 percent.
Algal-based omega-3 supplements are too new for any comprehensive research to have been carried out, but Edwards says “we believe there will be no identifiable taste or aftertaste” to the vegetable-based oils.
Slightly less than half of respondents polled in the Discovery Research Group/Aker BioMarine survey, or 48 percent, take an omega-3 supplement. As for their reasons — with multiple responses allowed — 64 percent answered “general health,” 58 percent replied “heart health,” 27 percent said “brain/cognitive health,” 26 percent replied “joint health,” and 17 percent said “healthy skin.”
Eric Anderson, vice-president of sales and marketing at Aker BioMarine Antarctic US, told NutraIngredients-USA: “Clearly there is a market for consumers who want omega-3 supplements to increase these essential fatty acids in the diet, but do not want fish oil.”
Source: Algae Biosciences Inc., algaebio.com