Omega-3 fatty acid is polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) containing carbon double bond in its organic structure. These are mainly found in plants and marine life such as meat, eggs, seal oil, krill, fish, and mammalian brains and eyes. Fish oil is the most common and widely used dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids that contains high content of eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA). The omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids for health, which the body cannot produce but are necessary for regular metabolic activities and functions. Both the omega-3 variants are beneficial to the stress management. DHA provides neurological healthcare benefits, whereas, EPA facilitates the stress-affected immunity. EPA also provides anti-depressive benefits to the consumers to greater extent by lowering blood pressure disorders and heart diseases. Growing health concerns of urban population about their fitness levels is one of the main reasons for the omega-3 fatty acid market to grow at a significant rate.

Based on types, the global omega-3 fatty acid market can be classified as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA). Further, ALA is found in plant oils, and DHA and EPA are found mainly in fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acid finds application in infant formula, food and beverages, nutritional supplements, clinical nutrition, pharmaceuticals, pet food and supplements and others. Based on manufacturing processes, global omega-3 fatty acid market can be categorized as concentration process, processing of fish oils, decontamination and other product technologies.

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The factors driving the growth of global omega-3 fatty acid market include rising demand of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in pharmaceuticals and functional foods, rising awareness towards healthcare and chronic diseases, and expanding application profiling of omega-3. Several pharmaceutical companies have already been using higher concentrations of omega-3 in pharmaceutical drugs, and in future, more companies are expected to enter the market of omega-3 drugs.

The major trends observed in the global omega-3 fatty acid market is increasing consumer demand of omega-3 fatty acid products and launch of highly concentrated omega-3 pharmaceuticals in the market. Alternative sources such as flaxseeds, olive oil, beans and walnuts are used to obtain omega-3 PUFA are providing new market opportunities for the global omega-3 fatty acid market. Some of the significant factors restraining the growth of omega-3 fatty acid market are rise in fish oil prices, absence of recommended daily intakes (RDI) standards, lesser availability of raw material, and climatic issues in maintaining the fisheries.

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North America was the largest consumer of omega-3 products in 2014; followed by Europe. The regulations favoring the use of omega-3 in functional food and infant formula is expected to spur the demand for omega-3 fatty acid market in the developed regions. The Asia-Pacific omega-3 fatty acid market is expected to witness fastest growth during the coming years. Rising population in developing countries is expected to raise the demand for omega-3 products, such as infant formula, nutrition supplements. Moreover, changing lifestyles and health issues (particularly coronary heart diseases, dyslipidemia and developmental disorders) are expected to raise the demand for omega-3 fatty acid market during the coming years.

Some of the key players in the global omega-3 fatty acid market are Nordic Naturals, Inc., Zymes LLC, Wiley’s Finest Inc, Organic Technologies, Cellana Inc., Bioriginal Food & Science Corporation, Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc., Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., and Marine Ingredients.

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