In recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the link between Omega 3-6-9 fatty acid oils and our health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats considered essential because the human body is not able to synthesize them in sufficient quantities to meet its needs.
The progenitor of the Omega-3 family is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Their properties are associated with beneficial effects on the health of the cardiovascular system and nervous system; EFSA (the European Food Safety Authority) has authorized the use of the nutrition claim that ALA helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.
After being taken, alpha-linolenic acid is converted into other polyunsaturated fats – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – which are the biologically active Omega-3s responsible for the benefits associated with these fatty acids.
Although Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids are widely presented in foods, it is still hard to intake the recommended daily dosage.
Because of their unsaturated nature, they are chemically unstable and susceptible to oxidation to produce free radicals, unpleasant tastes and off-flavours, which are deemed to negatively affect the shelf-life, sensory properties and overall acceptability of the food products.
A technology to preserve Omega 3: microencapsulation
Microencapsulation is a very well-known technology in the field of human food/pharma nutrition.
It is a great approach to increase the effectiveness of the active principles, protecting them from oxidative deterioration and to improve their ingredient properties (e.g., handling, and sensory).
Spray drying is the most used technique to develop microcapsules.
Italian expertise in microencapsulation
The Italian company SILA is a recognized expert in the industrial processes of microencapsulation.
Founded in 1998, the company today covers the manufacture of target and slow-release products for the industry of animal/ human nutrition and keeps on developing close working relationships with multinational partners.
With microencapsulation, small particles of solid or liquid substances are able to be coated in order to safeguard the effectiveness and the complete absorption in the intestine through a controlled & targeted release.
SILA works on lab research to coat and stabilize:
- polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 (P.U.F.A)
- organic/inorganic acids
- amino acids
- essential oils
- trace elements
in a target & slow-release lipid matrix.
Microencapsulated Omega 3: the benefits
There are many benefits offered by microencapsulation of Omega 3.
- Thanks to the protective lipophilic coating, Microencapsulated Omega 3 preserves the integrity of the nutrient from humidity and the acidity along the various intestinal tracts.
- It ensures a slow release of the contents, increasing the dose efficiency.
- The active ingredient is distributed with a large active surface all along the digestive tract due to its morphology.
- It also preserves the stability of the product exposed to environmental factors, like light.
Studies have shown that microencapsulation can significantly increase the absorption of active substances compared to non-microencapsulated Omega 3.
The absolute quality and the complete safety of SILA products is constantly verified by the R&D staff through sophisticated stability studies – such as in vivo amino acid tests, acidifying tests, and iteration of existing formulations – particularly focusing on the stability of microencapsulated acidifiers, liposoluble and hydrosoluble microencapsulated vitamin stability and stability of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 (P.U.F.A).
SILA microencapsulated Omega 3 is ideal for veterinary products and human nutrition.
SILA microencapsulated Omega 3 are distributed within the North American market by Faravelli, Inc, the US branch of Faravelli, an Italian company and global distributor of ingredients and raw materials, founded in 1926.
- Encapsulation of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids-rich oils using protein-based emulsions with spray drying – C. Chang and Michael T. Nickerson