Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Here comes the most touted super omega-3 cooking oil-Algal potential is finally tapped!

Cooking oil is one of the most essential food components without which humans probably may find it difficult to balance their diets. As fats and oils are dense calories foods yielding almost double the energy compared to carbohydrates and proteins, the other two bulk components of foods, they provide about 30% of total calories in a diet both as visible as well as invisible components. Aside from its health value fats like plant oils, butter and butter oil and animal derived fats provide a rich taste to the foods we eat whether due to frying, baking or cooking. World wide there is supposed to be a shortage of edible oils and country like India depends heavily on imported oils, most of them being palm oil and soy oil. Added to the scarcity, rich and affluent countries divert a significant portion of edible supplies for biodiesel in automobiles. Whether it is due to faulty agricultural policies or lack of incentives to farmers, production of oil seed crops is either stagnating or declining in India. Against this background comes the welcome news that tapping a non-conventional source is proving to be successful. This source is the humble algae which yields excellent yield of an oil rich in Omega-3 acids, considered a vital fatty substance required by human body. Commercialization of the process for growing algae in huge quantities and extraction of oil for processing into a bland oil with no accompanying flavor can be expected to be a reality soon. Read further below:.  

"AlgaWise ultra omega-9 fatty acid oils are more than 90% monounsaturated fats and less than 4% saturated fat. An alternative to oils with high levels of saturated fat, they provide shelf-life stability and culinary performance while having a high smoke point ,according to the two companies. AlgaWise high stability algae oils are more than 87% monounsaturated fatty acids and 2% polyunsaturated fat. They offer oxidative stability and a neutral flavor while having 0 grams of trans fat per serving, according to the two companies. They have been shown to work in industrial frying, spraying/coating, pan spraying and blending. The oils have been shown to allow food manufacturers to remove added preservatives in such foods as dressings and mayonnaise and to remove partially hydrogenated vegetable oils completely. The AlgaWise algae butter should become available to the U.S. market in 2016. Its composition and functionality mirror structuring fats such as shea stearin, according to the two companies. The algae butter has a high proportion of stearic-oleic-stearic triglycerides (about 70%). It offers a reliable, scalable and sustainable supply for confectionery products, according to the two companies, while it also may be used in baked foods, spreads and other applications. "Bunge is a leading global agribusiness and food company and has been a strong long-term partner who shares our vision," said Jonathan Wolfson, c.e.o. of South San Francisco-based Solazyme. "Not only do they have fantastic capabilities, but they also understand the value of both our ingredients and our underlying technology platform. We are very happy to be deepening and expanding the partnership to include Bunge's global food sales, marketing, and applications strength and presence. This will further enable our algae-based food ingredients to bring great benefits to people and our planet."

The manufacturers of algal oil expect the product to be in the market next year but not yet sure whether consumers will readily accept it. Probably the first customers would be health freaks who might fall for the health tag on this product. Eventually if the cost falls significantly and algal oil can be offered at prices comparable to plant oils like corn oil, soy oil, rapeseed oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil etc ordinary consumers may be tempted to use this incenttive to switch over to algal oil.In a country like India it is very doubtful if this oil will be accepted unless there is a significant price advantage like Palm oil. A possible way of making an inroad into Indian market could be through blended oils containing different proportion of algal oil using base oils like groundnut oil or palm oil.


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