The company will expand capacity at its main production facility in Ålesund in Norway, allowing output to increase by more than 50% by 2021. Meanwhile, a new manufacturing facility nearby will provide raw materials for new and specialized marine ingredients.
The investment will also allow the implementation of groundbreaking technology to increase EPA and DHA concentration without triggering oxidation. The new distillation process will pave the way for gently processed products with concentration as high as 70% percentage by weight (compared to the current industry standard of 50wt%).
The mild nature of the next generation distillation process makes it a highly effective way to increase EPA and DHA content without creating unwanted by-products such as trans-fatty acids and polymers, the company said.
Epax, which invented the technology to concentrate fish oil as an ethyl ester in 1987, has a 180-year history of innovation. Much of the new investment will be allocated to R&D, including clinical studies on the benefits of innovative new marine ingredients in dietary supplements.
Bjørn Refsum, CEO of Epax, said: “As a leading producer of highly concentrated omega-3, and a company with a proud history of innovation, we have a responsibility to push the limits of what is possible. This substantial investment will create new possibilities for the marine ingredients sector in terms of concentration, purity and quality. We’re particularly excited about our new distillation process, which we believe is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to achieve high levels of EPA and DHA without creating unwanted by-products and waste materials.”