Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

DSM’s “Game-Changing” Vegan Omega-3 Oil Gets EU Regulatory Approval

DSM announces that its life’s™OMEGA product, an algae-derived source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, has been approved for use in meat and fish alternatives by the European Commission across the European Union. DSM claims that life’s™OMEGA is the first commercially available single-source, algae-derived vegan omega-3 oil in the EU.

“The regulatory approval of life’s™OMEGA in the EU is a game-changer for the European plant-based industry

According to DSM, life’s™OMEGA is a significant development for the plant-based industry because it will allow food manufacturers to improve the nutritional profile of fish and meat alternatives with EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids similar to those in fish, and “opens an opportunity for the next generation of nutritious plant-based alternatives”.

lifes omega DSM
©DSM

Gilbert Verschelling, director of business development & innovation, savory ingredients at DSM, said: “The regulatory approval of life’s™OMEGA in the EU is a game-changer for the European plant-based industry, with producers now able to fortify meat and fish alternatives with fish-free EPA and DHA to be on a par with traditional fish products. So, consumers don’t have to compromise on nutrition when incorporating plant-based alternatives into their diet, they can enjoy it all with authentic products that tick all the boxes for taste, texture, and health.”

Appealing plant-based alternatives

Demand for plant-based fish continues to increase as consumers seek to replace animal products in their diet, alongside consumer tendencies to perceive fish and seafood as healthier options than meat.

©DSM

Figures show that 57% of consumers find fortified plant-based alternatives appealing and look for replacements that offer the same nutritional value as animal products, says DSM. Vegan omega-3 fatty acids as food additives could potentially play a significant role in helping alternative seafood reach price and nutritional parity with conventional seafood.

Vegan omega-3 oil for health

Regular sources of Omega-3 in foods come from land sources such as flaxseed or canola oil in the form of long-chain omega-3, which do not cover the recommended levels. According to DSM, a recent study shows that 83% of the global population lives in countries where the average intake of EPA and DHA is below the minimum WHO guidelines.

vegan omega-3 oil by dsm
© DSM

“EU approval of DSM’s algal vegan omega-3 oil solution means European manufacturers can create nutritious plant-based products with a range of on-pack nutrient claims, such as being a source of omega-3 and supporting heart, brain, and eye health,” states the company.

DSM’s life’s™OMEGA is made with fermented, natural, non-GMO algae and is part of a broader portfolio for meat and fish alternatives, including DSM’s canola, pea, and fava bean proteins.

The algae-based omega 3 ingredients market

According to a Research and Markets report on the algae omega-3 ingredients market, the US is estimated at US$157.4 million in 2020. China, the world’s second-largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$242 million by 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 6.9% and 8.7%, respectively, over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 7.9% CAGR.

DSM omega 3
©DSM

Besides DSM, other companies developing vegan friendly omega-3 products are Algarithm, iWi, and Corbion, all of which produce omega-3 ingredients using algae for the alternative protein sector.

“Plant-based meat and fish alternatives have seen significant improvements in recent years – but the category is continuously evolving to help bridge the nutrient gap,” adds Gilbert Verschelling.

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