Form meets function in omega-3 oil

Willie Loh, Cargill

Willie Loh
Vice President, Marketing
Cargill Oils and Shortening

Do you want your granola bar to taste like fish and spoil quickly? We don't either. That's why Cargill introduced its Clear Valley® omega-3 flax-canola oil blend in 2010.

Because long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil or a product of algae fermentation, food products made with them can become rancid within just a few days. In addition, they are expensive ingredients to buy and process—an unacceptable, cost-prohibitive risk for any food manufacturer.

We understood that our customers wanted to offer the benefits of omega-3s to their customers in forms other than just cooking oil and bread so we developed a shelf-stable solution. Clear Valley omega-3 oil, high in the short-chain fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), offers 12-month shelf stability without any fishy “off" tastes or odors.

Its appeal is enhanced when you consider that it allows manufacturers to make a “Good” (160 mg) source of ALA omega-3 nutrient content claim with as little as 0.53 g fat per serving or “Excellent” (320 mg) source of ALA omega-3 nutrient content claim with as little as 1.07 g fat per serving. In the U.S., sales of foods and beverages making an omega-3 claim have been growing with a projected CAGR of 14% through 2015*.

As a drop-in solution, Clear Valley omega-3 oil requires no formulation changes or special equipment. It's a simple 1:1 replacement for the oil in an existing product. It contains up to 30% ALA omega-3 and can provide a minimum of 160 mg ALA omega-3 in most applications (one tablespoon Clear Valley omega-3 oil contains 4000 mg ALA omega-3).

Made with canola and flaxseed oils, Clear Valley omega-3 oil features a clean label and consumer-friendly ingredient statement. Unlike some other functional food ingredients, Clear Valley omega-3 oil is targeted toward "mainstream" foods found in the middle of the grocery store rather than on the fringe (think “regular” items such as breakfast cereal, snack bars, crackers, and cake and pancake mix).

If your company is ready to go front-and-center with omega-3 ALA enriched, shelf-stable products, contact the formulation experts at Cargill. We'll make sure your omega-3 ALA enriched food products have the stability to stay on the shelf for 12 months—and the great taste to ensure they won't.

Willie Loh is vice president of marketing for Cargill Oils and Shortening. He has been with Cargill for the 16 of his 25 years in the industry.

*Functional foods report from IFIC 2011