Omega 3 supplement from algae

No more pungent pills with a fishy after taste: Israel’s LycoRed offers a supplement that can be mixed into breads, crackers and even candies and chocolate bars. Nothing fishy lurking here – just unusually healthful candy. Mary Poppins always said …

No more pungent pills with a fishy after taste: Israel’s LycoRed offers a supplement that can be mixed into breads, crackers and even candies and chocolate bars.

Sweets
Nothing fishy lurking here – just unusually healthful candy.

Mary Poppins always said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Now a dose of “fish oil” can actually be made tasty.

Omega 3 supplements provide one of the “good” fatty acids nutritionists say can help prevent heart disease and arthritis, while playing an essential role in healthy brain development and growth.

But there are a few problems with most Omega 3 capsules. First of all, they stink — like fish. Because the supplement is derived from cold-water fish, it’s not uncommon to taste fishy burps throughout the day after ingesting the oil capsule, roughly the size of an earplug. The capsules are hard for children to swallow and completely unsuitable for vegans.

While there are alternative Omega 3 oils on health-food store shelves, a new tasteless and odorless vegetarian variety from Israeli food supplement company LycoRed is designed to be used in baked goods and candies because it is able to survive heating. The company has completed successful trials of its supplement in chocolates, crackers and bread.

Good oil from algae

LycoRed, whose main business is natural nutritional supplements and colorants, launched the new algae-derived Lyc-O-Mega 10 AL late last year and it is now available worldwide.

Dr. Dorit Rozner, R&D manager at LycoRed, tells ISRAEL21c: “The advantages of Omega 3 to our health are well known, but most of us are challenged to get enough in our diets, especially for children, for whom taking capsules is difficult.”

Many organs in our bodies need the cholesterol-busting fat derived from Omega 3, also known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), to maintain functioning. Since the body is not able to manufacture it, this oil must be obtained from food. Found in walnuts and in lesser amounts in fruit and seeds like flax, Omega 3 is most plentiful in fish and algae. Unfortunately, it’s the oily, pungent ones like herring, mackerel, sturgeon and anchovies that contain the most good oils.

“As adding Omega 3 directly to foods normally within our diets results in ‘fishy’ tasting products, we saw an opportunity to utilize our unique microencapsulation technology,” says Rozner. “The resulting product, Lyc-O-Mega 10 AL, allows the confectionery and bakery industry to create great-tasting products — and deliver on DHA.”

Lyc-O-Mega on bread
Lyc-O-Mega can be baked right into bread.

For example, LycoRed has produced a five-gram chocolate bar containing one-third of the recommended daily dose of Omega 3.

LycoRed’s parent company is Israel-based Makhteshim Agan, the world’s largest maker of generic agricultural chemicals, which in turn is now 60 percent owned by the Chinese company ChemChina.

LycoRed has production facilities in Israel, Europe and the United States, and it supplies the food, beverage and cosmetics industries worldwide. The company also produces a food supplement extracted from tomatoes, LycoMato, which is believed to prevent the effects of sun damage from within the body by fighting free radicals before they do damage.

About Karin Kloosterman

Karin Kloosterman lives in Jaffa, Israel. She is a journalist, writer and blogger who focuses on the environment and clean technology from Israel and the Middle East. Published in hundreds of newspapers around the world, Karin also writes for the Huffington Post and Green Prophet.