SupplySiders: Quality, transparency, sustainability shiners

Alkemist, BGG World, dsm-firmenich have a lot to say about pushing the dietary supplements industry forward.

January 29, 2024

3 Min Read

At a Glance

  • dsm-firmenich protects algae-sourced omega-3 DHA patent successfully.
  • Alkemist Labs counters industry fraud with blockchain document protection.
  • BGG World achieves sustainability milestone with Ecovadis silver medal.

dsm’s DHA is unique

dsm-firmenich, the world’s largest ingredient supplier, successfully defended its patent on algae-sourced, high-concentrate omega-3 DHA before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The action was unsuccessfully taken by Mara Renewables Corporation.

The U.S. Patent No. 10,392,578 protects certain dsm-firmenich innovations in providing nutritional lipids rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 derived from an algal source. The patent was issued for a clean process to obtain the DHA lipid from cells, without the use of volatile and flammable organic solvents.

The company offers some 57 different nutritional lipid products, of which 16 are sourced from algae. Other sources are derived from fish and plants. The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rejected the claims from Mara that dsm’s algae-sourced DHA at concentrations at or above 40% DHA are unique. The European Patent Office recently also issued a favorable opinion for dsm-firmenich.

“Although we were confident from the outset, we are nonetheless pleased with the PTAB's decision to uphold our patent," said James Young, vice president of early life nutrition at dsm-firmenich. “This outcome validates our significant investments in and commitment to innovation and underscores our position as a technology leader.”

The PTAB's refusal to review the validity of the patent allows dsm-firmenich to maintain its exclusive rights in the U.S. to certain microbial lipid compositions having, among other things, DHA triglyceride fractions of 40% by weight and higher.

Alkemist Labs raises the transparency bar

Counterfeit Certificates of Analysis (C of A) bedevil the industry’s reputable companies by giving lesser companies the ability to counterfeit and adulterate products. Alkemist Labs, based in Garden Grove, Calif., is using HealthLOQ’s document protection software that uses blockchain and cryptography technologies to produce an irreversible, one-way encryption that protects and validates digital documents without breaching confidentiality requirements.

This digital fingerprint is then stored on an unalterable blockchain ledger and is perpetually available for comparison against the digital fingerprint of any purported authentic documents that have been processed by the same encryption algorithm.

“Our transparency in including the relevant test methods with each C of A had made us particularly vulnerable to document counterfeiting over the years,” said Elan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs. “It’s a risk we had to take to push the needle on transparency, but we’ve been fighting bad actors who altered and misused those documents. HealthLOQ’s program helps protect both us and our customers.”

BGG World is officially sustainable

BGG World, renowned supplier of astaxanthin as well as a stable of other branded ingredients, has received a sustainability silver medal award from Ecovadis. The ratings empower companies to reduce risk, drive improvement and accelerate positive impact on people and planet.

“BGG invests a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources in environmentally responsible manufacturing and sustainable practices,” said Juergen Nelis, global CEO of BGG World. “We are very happy to have our efforts documented by an independent rating entity of Ecovadis’ stature. This silver medal is not only a most welcome acknowledgement for our past efforts, but also a huge incentive to work even harder this year to attain a gold medal.”

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