FDA Approves Excellent Source Claim for Foods Containing Both EPA and DHA

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. (ONC) recently announced that the U.S. FDA has allowed ONC's petition for an Excellent Source Nutrient Content Claim for foods containing both EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) under the authoritative statement provisions of the Food and Drug Modernization Act (FDAMA). ONC markets MEG-3 brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients.

EPA and DHA are the two physiologically essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil. Both nutrients have been demonstrated to play important roles in human health and nutrition.

The new ruling means that companies can place certain claims on their packaging such as "An Excellent Source of Omega-3 EPA and DHA", "High In Omega-3 EPA and DHA" or "Rich In Omega-3 EPA and DHA." Products must contain a combined total of at least 32 mg of EPA and DHA per serving to qualify for this claim. Thirty-two milligrams of EPA and DHA represents 20% of the daily value levels for EPA and DHA of the 160 mg per day recommended by the Institute of Medicine. The claim needs to include the statement that the product “contains ___ mg of EPA and DHA per serving, which is ___ % of the 160 mg daily value for a combination of EPA and DHA.”

Until now food manufacturers were only able to use the nutrient content claim for an excellent source with DHA. While DHA is an extremely important nutrient, companies were limited in their ability to differentiate to consumers that their foods contain both EPA and DHA.

“Both EPA and DHA are important in heart health and normal growth and development as stated in an FDA qualified heart health claim for foods containing EPA and DHA,” said Dr. Colin Barrow, ONC's vice president of R&D. “Over 8,000 scientific papers have been published demonstrating the health benefits of EPA and DHA reflecting the nutritional value for consumers.”

Food companies can now create consumer product differentiation for their brands because they can explain that their products contain both important forms of Omega-3 fatty acids. “Being able to differentiate food products with both EPA and DHA means that food companies can create a source of strategic competitive advantage because their products contain more value than just DHA alone,” said Ian Lucas, ONC's executive vice president of global marketing. “Our MEG-3 brand food ingredient enables food companies to include the goodness of fish in their products without the taste or smell of fish so they can easily create value-added foods that people will love to eat and at the same time improve their own bottom line.”

For more information on Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. and the health benefits of MEG-3 ingredients please visit www.meg-3.com.

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