Under the terms of the agreement, Martek and Dow AgroSciences will co-develop the canola seed, which will produce a DHA-rich canola oil that will be part of Dow AgroSciences' "next generation" of food industry oils. The intent of the collaboration is to develop a DHA-rich canola oil which would strengthen Martek's position as a leading producer and marketer of DHA-enriched oils and powders and complement Dow AgroSciences' current omega-9 oils platform. Dow AgroSciences and Martek anticipate a multi-year effort to produce this new healthy oil, which when commercialized will be marketed to the food industry.
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain fatty acid that serves as the primary structural fatty acid found in the brain and the eyes, and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. A large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that people of all ages, from infants to aging adults, benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in the diet. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, and clinical studies are underway to evaluate the role of DHA in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.
Today, DHA is primarily sourced from algal fermentation and fish oil. Production of DHA in canola will allow for a more cost-effective vegetarian supply for use in certain food applications.
"Nutritionists are now recommending that people increase their consumption of DHA, as most consumers don't get enough in their diets today," said Daniel R. Kittle, Ph.D., global R & D leader and vice president, Dow AgroSciences. "Martek, with its strong portfolio in omega-3 fatty acids, will be a great addition to the continued development of our rapidly growing canola and sunflower Healthy Oils platform."
"As the leading innovator in DHA science and technology, Martek is pleased to partner with agricultural leader Dow AgroSciences, to combine our unique technologies and intellectual property for the creation of an oilseed source of DHA, a nutrient that is important to human health throughout the lifecycle," said Steve Dubin, Martek CEO. "Dow AgroSciences' expertise and commitment to healthy nutritional solutions complements Martek's own values and strengths, making this an ideal collaboration."
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
From the June 9, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash