Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids have always been a hot spot in the field of nutrition and health, and the sales volume of related products has long been in the forefront of the North American market. According to Grand View Research, the global Omega 3 market was worth $2.49 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a cagR of 7.7% from 2020 to 2027. Every year, scientific research data on omega-3 fatty acids emerge in an endless stream around the world. FDA of the United States and EFSA of the European Union have also recognized the safety and health of this raw material, and approved DHA/EPA for several health claims. At the same time, consumers' health awareness of "fish oil" has risen to a new level.
Over the past decade, the market for omega-3 fatty acids has been focused on dietary supplements, mostly in capsules. There is currently a strong focus on the use of omega-3 fatty acids as ingredients in functional food and beverage products, with more than 1,800 fortified foods with omega-3 fatty acids on the market, according to Mintel's Global New Product Database 2020. This includes snacks, biscuits, drinks, sweets, chocolate, bread, cereal, milk, etc.
The Global ORGANIZATION for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) sets recommended daily intakes of EPA and DHA at 500 mg/day for healthy adults and 700-1000 mg/day for pregnant/lactating women, 1 g/day depending on relevant health conditions. However, to reach the recommended daily intake, consumers would need to eat fish 3-4 times a week, which is clearly not achievable for many people, so omega-3 fatty acid fortified products have become the primary way for consumers to meet their nutritional needs.
Traditional omega-3 fatty acids are derived from Marine fish, and the rise of algae and other plant-based omega-3 fatty acids is based on a variety of concerns, including the growth of vegetarian populations, the emergence of animal-friendly ideas, and sustainability. While fish are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, they can't actually produce EPA and DHA on their own, and instead get their omega-3s by eating algae in the Marine environment.
Seaweed is higher up the food chain, fish lower down, and fish oil has a higher risk of being enriched in heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium. At present, most of the raw materials of algal oil microalgae are cultured artificially, which can effectively control the pollution of heavy metals from the source. In addition, fish oil DHA is a triglyceride form with only 12% content, which requires esterification in part. However, the triglyceride content of DHA in algal oil is high, up to 35%, which does not need esterification treatment, so it is more convenient for human absorption and suitable for children's product formulation.
With wild fisheries under unprecedented pressure, many consumers are making more environmentally conscious choices, plant-based lifestyles are becoming more mainstream, and plant-based omega-3 fatty acids are starting to become mainstream, including Chia seeds, flax seeds, rapeseed, field purple seeds and more. This kind of plant-based raw materials are rich in α -linolenic acid (ALA), but the human body needs to convert it into DHA and EPA under the action of enzymes. At present, relatively mature commercial plant-based omega-3 fatty acids are mainly derived from the field Clover oil.
Rapeseed not only contains oil, but also high-quality protein, which contains many essential amino acids. Approximately 1.12 million tons of crude protein are produced from rapeseed each year worldwide. For a long time, this kind of rapeseed cake is mainly used as animal protein feed, and has not played a role of protein source in human nutrition. One reason is that rapeseed proteins have a strong, bitter odor.
Nutriterra Total Omega-3 is a plant-based source of long chain omega-3 fatty acids developed by Nuseed Nutritional in the United States. It combines the omega-3 fatty acids DHA, EPA, α -linolenic acid (ALA). The company uses "plant-to-plant" biotechnology to provide nutrients consistent with the source of microalgae through renewable, sensory neutral rapeseed.
Without a decline in the number of wild fish, the oceans will not provide enough nutrients to meet human nutritional needs. Nutriterra has emerged to bridge the gap between omega-3 demand and Marine production. Nuseed Nutritional is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nufarm, an Australian agricultural chemical supplier. The feedstock was developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Cereals Research and Development Industry Association (GRDC). It is aimed at both the human nutrition market such as Nutriterra and the animal feed market such as Aquaterra, which is certified by Friends of the Sea .
Currently, the US FDA has approved the company's canola derived omega-3 ingredients to obtain new Dietary Ingredients (NDI) status, NDI Notification number 1207. Benita Boettner, General Manager of Nuseed, said the FDA approval allows Nuseed to move forward with its marketing work plan to expand rapeseed protein into the human nutrition market to meet the growing demand for new plant-based DHA+EPA omega-3 options.
Derived from the company's proprietary rapeseed, the long-chain omega-3s are structured like fish oil sources and are terrestrial and sustainable. The USDA deregulated the commercial cultivation of omega-3 rapeseed in 2018 and doubled the contracted production of Nuseed omega-3 rapeseed in 2019. It has already received approvals for human food and animal feed in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and is seeking additional regulatory approvals in other major markets around the world.
New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) is a system that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes the use of newly developed healthy food ingredients in the United States after conducting safety reviews. NDI has been in operation since 1996 to facilitate product safety verification. A new dietary ingredient can be registered only after it has been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which requires various experimental results and analysis data such as manufacturing process, usage, and whether it is harmful to human body.
Plant-based diet is on the rise worldwide, the market for vegetable protein continues to grow rapidly, and rapeseed, as a new protein, also begins to exert its power. In 2019, DSM, together with Avril Group of France, jointly developed CanolaPRO, a non-GM rapeseed protein based on CanolaPRO, which provides a neutral and pleasant taste, mild texture and smooth mouth feel to meet consumers' growing demand for plant-based protein.
DSM says the functional properties, high nutritional value and balanced taste of rapeseed protein make it ideal for a range of product applications including meat and dairy alternatives, beverages, bakery products, nutrition bars and ready-to-eat blends.
In August 2020, Burcon Technologies, a plant-based protein company, announced that its joint venture, Merit Functional Foods, had secured a $30 million investment from Bunge. The Merit portfolio includes pea and rapeseed protein ingredients to meet the growing demand for highly functional and tasteful plant applications. Burcon has acquired ingredients for novel plant-based proteins derived from peas, rapeseed, soybeans, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds.
The global alternative protein market is expected to reach €140-150 billion in 2025, and it is being driven by consumers who want food and drinks that are not only healthier for them, but also friendlier for the planet. In 2019, the DSM released a consumer insight report on plant-based diets, with nearly two-thirds of meat cutters adopting alternative proteins for health reasons. The same proportion said consumption of animal protein should be reduced to make it more sustainable.