Omega-3 fatty acid is “among the most successful functional ingredients ever” with sales of its ingredients produced for processed foods undamaged by the global economic recession, according to Euromonitor.
Sales of omega-3 ingredients jumped by 10 per cent between 2008 and 2009 with raw volumes rising from 12,054 tonnes in 2008 to 13,218 tonnes last year, Euromonitor informed.
Global volumes increased 50-fold between 2004 and 2009.
Volumes in the US alone climbed by 22 per cent behind the Asia Pacific, which saw a growth of 30 per cent but with a volume of just 850 tonnes. About 50 per cent of global omega-3s utilised in food products are consumed in Europe, while the US dominates the dietary supplements market, Nutra Ingredients reports.
Technological advances have helped the omega-3 foods market advance, as the fatty acids, which are prone to oxidization, have become easier to formulate into food matrices. Prior to this development, food makers had turned to other fats that were more formulation-friendly, Euromonitor noted.
“This trend was also mirrored in livestock farming. In order to maximise efficiency gains in meat and dairy production, animal feeding protocols have changed over the years, leading to a reduction of omega-3 in the human food supply,” Euromonitor said.
“For example, the move away from pasture feeding cattle (grass is high in omega-3) and towards grain-based feed (low in omega-3) resulted in a decline of omega-3 content in the animals' milk and meat. Furthermore, the increasing affordability of meat has negatively impacted the consumption of sea fish, which is recognised as one of the most important dietary sources of omega-3,” it continued.
Euromonitor anticipates a global boost of 24 per cent between 2009 and 2014 with volumes peaking at 16,332 tonnes. Emerging markets will grow the most, with Saudi Arabia at the top with 182 per cent, followed by India (170 per cent), Mexico (126 per cent) and China (98 per cent).
The market in the US will escalate by 43 per cent, the UK’s by 32 per cent and New Zealand’s by 27 per cent, Euromonitor stated.
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By Natalia Real