Oslo Business Memo


Adressing the omega-3 issues.

As one of the most popular biomarine ingredients, omega-3 has become a fast growing business around the globe.  But the omega-3 industry has still some unresolved quality issues to deal with.


At the BioMarine Business Convention in London a think-tank with key industry participants analyse these important issues, both concerning better quality and consumer knowledge.
The think tank adresses the need for more consumer education around the value chain and on the issues of both  efficacy and quality of fish oil derived products.  The list of important omega-3 issues include these 3 challenges:
• Numerous omega-3 products on the market today with extremely variable product quality.
• The raw material fish oil for the processing of the omega-3 products may contain various amounts of contaminants, like environmental pollutants. By unfavourable handling, production processes, capsulations etc, the oxidation processes may be initiated in fish oil based products which often result in products with poorer quality.
• High levels of environmental pollutant may pose a risk to human health and some scientifist claim that increased levels of oxidation products may also have negative effects on human health.

According to one of the leading companies in the sector, Pronova BioPharma, research over the past 30 years has expanded the understanding of the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in both maintenance of health and the treatment of diseases responsible for a large percentage of illness and death in the world.
The company has given quality a high priority, expressed this way:
«We have the best product quality, the best quality systems and the best product monitoring systems in the entire omega-3 industry. We are the lodestar of the industry and are committed to continue to drive further quality improvements in the development, manufacture and testing of our products,» the company states on its webpage.  Pronova BioPharma, listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, is also a key participant at the BioMarine conference.

A substantial amount of pharmacological and clinical data indicates a wide spectrum of biological benefits from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docoshexaenoic acid (DHA). These benefits include regulation of plasma lipid levels, cardiovascular functions, immune functions, insulin action, neural development, visual functions and cognitive functions.
«The reason for these wide-ranging effects is that the natural PUFAs regulate a variety of biochemical pathways,» according to Pronova BioPharma.
Research programs at Pronova BioPharma aim to develop new lipid compounds with more specific biological effects than the natural PUFAs. The main focus is to develop new drugs for treatment of diseases in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular/metabolic and chronic inflammation but the potential disease treatment area is immense and growing.
Source: BioMarine Business Convention/Pronova BioPharma

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