Next-level distillation technology creates new opportunities for ultra-concentrated Omega-3
Epax has reinforced its position as a leader in highly concentrated Omega-3 with a major upgrade to its facility and the launch of next-level molecular distillation technology.
The Norwegian marine lipid specialist was already one of the few companies guaranteeing Omega-3 with 90% minimum triglyceride content as standard. Now a $40 million investment in its facility in Aalesund has enabled it to increase its distillation capacity and further improve its ability to offer premium quality Omega-3 concentrates.
The upgrade includes the introduction of highly sophisticated quality process technology. Branded EQP+Tech, it allows individual fatty acids to be separated from fish oil and ultra-concentrated without the use of excessive heat or harsh chemicals.
The black box-protected technology is the result of years of research and development. Using data from over a thousand test runs and analyses, Epax’s process engineers studied the performance of various fatty acids in the company’s high-tech molecular distillation equipment. By finding the optimum balance between pressure, temperature and time, they identified the best possible way to separate each fatty acid from fish oil while retaining its natural quality.
Based on the research, Epax fine-tuned its re-esterification process and invested in new customised equipment. It includes highly sophisticated digital technology, with sensors monitoring thousands of data-points and making constant adjustments, allowing in-depth tracking of the re-esterification process and ensuring consistent high quality.
EQP+Tech will help Epax continue to guarantee a minimum 90% triglyceride content across its range of EPA and DHA ingredients, as well as developing new highly concentrated Omega-3 products for a range of health needs. The speed and gentleness of the process means there are particular application opportunities in delivery systems where sensory properties are important.
Bjørn Refsum, CEO of Epax, said: “In Omega-3 production, the big question is how you balance the never-ending quest for higher concentration with the need for quality and reproducibility. Epax was already a leader in ultra-concentrated Omega-3, but this upgrade takes us to a whole new level. To our knowledge, no-one else is using technology as sophisticated as this and the possibilities for manufacturers are huge. They’ll benefit not just from high concentration, purity and consistency, but also great sensory properties, allowing them to create products that meet the growing consumer demand for high-quality Omega-3.”
The upgrade concludes a major phase of Epax’s investment in its facility, with further improvements and investments already in progress.
Part of Norwegian fishery giant Pelagia AS, Epax Norway AS is a leading manufacturer of concentrated marine oils.
Epax® has been an innovator for over 180 years. Since 1838, when it began producing premium quality cod liver oil, Epax has transformed the marine ingredients sector. It invented the technology to concentrate fish oil as an ethyl ester, and to re-esterify oils back to TG-form. It was also the first company to create condition-specific EPA/DHA ingredients backed by science. Today Epax continues to deliver Omega-3 products of unmatched purity and quality.
The Epax production facility in Aalesund, Norway has, in addition to all standard manufacturing certifications/approvals, been approved by the US FDA for manufacture of Pharmaceutical Intermediates and by the Norwegian Medicines Agency (Legemiddelverket) for the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).
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