Martek debuts DHA in China

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Docosahexaenoic acid

Global omega-3 DHA leader Martek Biosciences Corporation has launched its life'sDHA ingredient in China after signing a five-year deal with local dairy, Mengniu.

The ingredient feature in varieties of Mengniu Future Star Kid Milk and is available nationally at “major retailers”.

Before this year, omega-3 forms such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) could only be incorporated into infant formulas, but it won novel foods approval from Chinese authorities in January to enter the mainstream food supply along with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

Mengniu is China’s biggest dairy and claims about 35 percent of the domestic market.

"We are pleased to be working with Mengniu, the largest dairy producer in China to introduce the first milk with life'sDHA to help support children's brain, eye and heart health,"​ said Martek president, David Abramson.

"This product launch further strengthens our presence in China, a key market for Martek, and illustrates our strong position as a key player in the fortified dairy category, even in international markets."

The company was not available for further comment at the time of publication.

The novel foods approval opens up a potential market of more than one billion people with increasing disposable incomes and interest in western dietary habits to omega-3 players, but omega-3 awareness among consumers is some way off that in many western markets.

Leading omega-3 supplier Ocean Nutrition Canada worked for more than two years on its novel foods submission to the Chinese Department of Health, and said it would be establishing an office in Shanghai this year to meet an expected increase in demand.

It also has a distribution partnership with Chinese firm Ruihua Hexin International.

The Chinese diet has typically been high in fish and therefore less in need of omega-3 supplementation, but western dietary habits are changing this dynamic and increasing the number of people who are omega-3 deficient.

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