Fresh Omega-3 Options

December 20, 2006

2 Min Read
Fresh Omega-3 Options

As more consumers recognize the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, manufacturers are increasingly seeking new fortification options. A variety of omega-3 ingredients exist, and ingredient processors have discovered ways to differentiate their products. The quality that comes from the freshest-possible omega-3 ingredients makes a difference to manufacturers. Marine Harvest Ingredients recognizes that fact by offering its Xalar™ salmon oils made from salmon farmed in Norway’s fjords.

The company manufactures two different omega-3 ingredients from its Virgin salmon oil: Refined salmon oil and Functional Food salmon oil, both of which come with a full traceability guarantee; Marine Harvest owns and controls the complete chain of the oils—from roe through farming to the finished oil. The company deodorizes, bleaches, purifies and stabilizes the oils. The Refined oil has been winterized, while the Functional Food oil is free of flavor and odor. “The refining process has two main purposes: ensure the absence of contaminants like dioxin and PCBs, and to reduce or remove fish taste and odor,” says Knut Erik Gulbrandsen, nutrition & technical manager.

Transporting marine-source omega-3 oils processed from fish or fish byproducts a considerable distance before processing can cause excessive oxidation, producing high free-fatty-acid and free-radical levels. To produce the freshest salmon oil possible, the processing plant is located directly adjacent to its salmon harvesting station, which helps avoid these potential problems. The finished oil ingredients have no free radicals. The company processes its ingredients year-round to ensure regular, standardized supplies.

“This freshness contributes to the overall quality of the finished food product, as well as to its shelf life,” says Gulbrandsen. “We have performed shelf-life tests on the Xalar Virgin salmon oil, stored in drums flushed with nitrogen—but without adding antioxidants. Due to the initial freshness and quality of the oil, there is virtually no detectable change in the oil over an 8- to 10-month period, as measured in free-fatty-acid, peroxide and anisidine levels.

“The most-crucial element is the time from the salmon is harvested to the finished oil,” continues Gulbrandsen, which for Marine Harvest, is typically less than three hours. “This means that the key quality measures, such as free-fatty-acid, peroxide and anisidine levels, are kept very low. It is then crucial to keep the oil out of contact with oxygen, as this would accelerate the oxidation process. For this reason, we flush the oil tanks and containers with nitrogen and add any antioxidants that our customers specify.”

Xalar Refined salmon oil is suited for addition to baked goods, juices, dairy products like milk or yogurt, and baby food, among other applications. The company is currently negotiating with some major ingredient companies to secure U.S. distribution.

Marine Harvest Ingredients 
P.O. Box 48 N-4001 
Stavanger Norway 
Phone: +47 51 88 56 31 
Fax: +47 51 82 55 71 
Website: www.xalar.com 

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