Consumer awareness of the health benefits and popularity of omega-3 EPA/DHA (from fish) is growing, reports Ocean Nutrition Canada VP Mmarketing, Linwood Riddick.
And with advanced technologies in dairy fortification, there are many omega-3-fortified dairy and yogurt products available on European shelves, and worldwide, says Riddick.
Dairy manufacturers must offer functional foods fortified with ingredients that provide health benefits that consumers want, with the same taste, texture and aroma as the unfortified product.
Incorporating fish oil in a food matrix can be challenging, as each food matrix presents its own specific challenges. The ability to offer various omega-3 technologies enables the fortification of dairy products ranging from milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream, to everything in between.
Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited has developed solutions for a broad range of dairy products. The ability to choose from food-grade oil, powder and emulsion enables the technology to be tailored to suit the specific needs of the product and the process.
Omega-3 has become an important part of the dairy industry, and the broad range of options to fortify dairy products with omega-3 EPA/ DHA will continue to make the future for dairy and omega-3 exciting.
Consumers are demanding dairy products fortified with omega-3 EPA/DHA for several reasons, including:
- increased media coverage on recent clinical studies confirming the health benefits of omega-3
- increased consumer awareness, as well as consumers taking personal responsibility for their health and improving their diet, which includes increasing omega-3 EPA/DHA intake levels.
The health benefits of consuming dairy products are well-known and widespread, and consumers trust that it provides necessary and important nutrients. Adding omega-3 to a dairy household staple, whether it's milk, cheese or yogurt, delivers the benefits of dairy and omega-3 while still having exactly the same great taste of the non-fortified product.
Joining the omega-3 market
Omega-3 in dairy applications has had a long presence in Europe since 1998, when two of the most innovative dairy producers launched a high-quality omega-3 EPA/DHA dairy application in Spain and Italy. Since then, many other leading European dairy companies have joined the omega-3 market, now offering various dairy applications fortified with omega-3 EPA/ DHA from fish oil.
According to Frost in Sullivan (2009), dairy and yogurt comprises almost 50% (36% dairy, 12% yogurt) of the omega-3 food category in Europe.
The omega-3 EPA/ DHA market continues to grow annually, and with many new omega-3 dairy products appearing in European shops annually, we expect this market to continue growing in double digits for the near future.
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This article was first published
in Dairy Innovation.