Avesthagen Limited announced completion of a landmark project for the development of AvestaDHA(TM) -- a vegetarian source of DHA (docohexanoic acid) omega-3 essential fatty acid based on an innovative approach using naturally occurring microalgae.

DHA is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid found throughout the body. More specifically, DHA Omega-3 is a major structural component found in the brain gray matter, eye retina and the heart. Numerous scientific studies confirm that everyone, from infants to adults, benefit from an adequate supply of DHA Omega-3. For mothers-to-be, DHA Omega-3 supports a healthy pregnancy. For toddlers, children, teens and adults, DHA Omega-3 supports brain, eye and heart health. Increased intake of DHA has been shown to be beneficial in inflammatory disorders, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, and some cancers. Although DHA is naturally found in different types of fish oil and marine plankton, it is expected that its supply will be insufficient to meet growing demands. Moreover, fish oil requires extensive purification, has unpleasant tastes and odors, and is subject to environmental bioaccumulation of heavy metal contaminants.

Avesthagen was awarded a prestigious grant for its research on Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from CSIR under the New Millennium Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) scheme. The collaborative project between Avesthagen and three Indian Institutional partners had the objective to identify cost effective and renewable sources of DHA & other LCPUFAs.

Avesthagen's innovative technology allows commercial production of a 100% vegetarian AvestaDHA. A novel Schizochytrium linacinum strain SC-1 was developed by Avesthagen for producing Vegetarian DHA through fermentation. The patented technology has been scaled up and validated for commercialization.

Dr. Villoo Morawala Patell, founder and chairperson of Avesthagen, stated "AvestaDHA will serve as an acceptable and safe source of DHA for vegetarians and others all over the world. Avesthagen is open for global licensing, manufacturing and marketing alliances. This is one step toward our continual commitment to discovery and commercialization of science based products that promote health and well being throughout life. AvestaDHA is also a step by Avesthagen in discharging an important corporate social responsibility in that it is targeted at ameliorating the nutritional health of the bottom of the pyramid and invites like-minded government, private organizations and civil society to join in the mission."

From the February 21, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition