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Fish oil was a folk remedy long before scientists identified the nutritional value of essential fatty acids. But Omega 3 processing has come a long way since the days of raw fish parts fermenting in a barrel. In fact, new supplement formulations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may not use fish at all.

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Cool your fish oil extract immediately after wet pressing

The four stages of wet pressing – cooking, pressing, decantation, and centrifugation –  extract and isolate the fish oils. But post-production cooling is critical to maintaining the purity of Omega 3 concentrates. Fish oils contain complex components. A warm environment activates hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols, waxes, and other elements, leading to spoilage.

Once in storage, you need to ensure that tanks are regularly drained from the bottom. Sludge and water deposits promote free fatty acids that compromise the final product.

Omega 3 processing by enzymatic silage

Fish silage is emerging as an alternative technique for the extraction of oils. Manufacturers treat the fish with additives like papain or flavorzyme to break down their properties. You can then recover essential fatty acids, or any other functional ingredients, from the mixture.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as Omega 3 are notoriously susceptible to oxidation that develops off-flavors in supplements. Enzymatic silage prevents the oxidation of extracted oils and extends product shelf-life.

Exploit urea complexation to concentrate fatty acids in vegan Omega 3 supplements

Algal oil is a naturally rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). After all, polyunsaturated fats originate in microalgae and move up the food chain as fish eat them. But concentrating Omega 3 in algal oil involves different processing techniques than fish.

Saturated fats are split from oil by capturing them in bonding molecules using urea fractionation. The remaining fatty acid mixture is purified through chromatography columns to separate PUFAs from monounsaturated fats.

Homogenize Omega 3 formulations with nanoemulsion techniques

A significant challenge of oil-in-water Omega 3 encapsulation is that formulations may become physically unstable over time. Developments in nanoemulsion techniques minimize this problem by phasing water and oil together in homogenized droplets of 100 mm or smaller.

Specialized technologies such as high shear mixers or colloid mills homogenize the molecules and emulsifiers. Besides higher stability, supplements produced with nanoemulsion also favor bioavailability.

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