Omega-3s have numerous positive effects on the immune system. As such, fortifying foods and beverages with these fatty acids is a current trend, with fish, algae, rapeseed, linseed and/or hemp oils serving as the main sources. As a result, global demand for high-quality omega-3 oil is increasing. And although these unstable raw materials are easy to obtain, processing them is complex and demanding. Nutriswiss specialises in refining labile edible oils and has established gentle procedures that deliver quality end products with high omega-3 levels.
Manufacturers face many challenges when using polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich oils. With high concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6, these raw materials are unstable and oxidise quickly to form ketones and aldehydes when exposed to ambient air. This has an adverse effect on the end product’s sensory properties and manifests as a dark colouration, rancid taste and an unpleasant odour. Furthermore, like any other crude oils, omega-3 oils can be contaminated during cultivation, transport or processing. To remove these impurities from the crude oils, Nutriswiss has established particularly efficient and gentle processes.
Both in Switzerland and internationally, Nutriswiss is a leading refiner of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils or fermented algae. The company supplies high-purity oils for a wide range of sectors, including both food and pharmaceuticals. Michel Burla, CEO of Nutriswiss, says: “Before the pandemic, omega-3 was in demand as an ingredient with a recognised effect on the immune system, especially in infant formulas; now, however, there is growing demand for similarly enriched functional foods for adults. The Swiss specialist refines oils to remove contaminants that are harmful to health; as such, meeting the highest levels of food safety is absolutely paramount.
Reckitt | Francia
In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, people are now paying more attention to their own health and looking to strengthen their immune system. Omega-3 has a positive effect in several areas: the long-chain fatty acids play an important role in brain growth and development, blood pressure regulation, kidney function, blood clotting and inflammatory and immunological reactions. They induce mediator molecules such as prostaglandins to activate the immune system.
To ensure that the key data and sensory profile information meet the requirements for pharmaceutical or special nutrition products, the refining steps are carefully planned in the Nutriswiss laboratories. Refining methods that work well for other oils are done at temperatures of 180–250 °C. For omega-3 oils, however, this thermal load would be too high. Therefore, the processes must be gentle and only expose the raw materials to minimal thermal stress while maximising yields and minimising impurity levels.
Hence, owing to the short residence time, the thermal load remains low and almost no process contaminants are formed. The refined oils can be microencapsulated or pulverised, making further degradation reactions less likely. Nutriswiss produces blends that meet the very specific requirements of EU regulations and customers. By optimising the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as enriching the end product with other micronutrients, tailor-made solutions can be supplied for specific applications.
Furthermore, Nutriswiss ensures that the final product is organoleptically neutral, no matter whether it was extracted from fish, algae or plants. “Using various process steps, we can remove the secondary oxidation products and reduce the anisidine value below 10. For fish oil, this is premium quality! The refined oil is also absolutely neutral from a sensory point of view and is almost the same light yellow colour as rapeseed oil,” emphasises Burla.
REDUCTION OF OXIDATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF PURITY
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TECHNOLOGY AND EXPERTISE: TWO IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS FOR HIGH-QUALITY OMEGA-3 OILS