Exclusive interview

BASF nutrition president on high-end omega-3, Equateq and the phood “white space”

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BASF is moving en masse into omega-3 - especially if its bid for Norwegian player Pronova is approved - but it is technology gained from its May acquisition of a high-dose omega-3 start-up on a remote Scottish island, that is exciting the German giant.

Walter Dissinger, the president of BASF’s nutrition and health division, explains why BASF was so interested in Equateq and the omega-3 space – from food to pharma.

“Our division has a clear strategy. One of the major ingredients we want to grow in is omega-3, especially when we talk about highly concentrated omega-3 and trying to create new white spaces next to pharma which would be human nutrition,” Dissinger said.

 “So the technology we have acquired here is the pre-requisite to get into these markets..."

“We see omega-3 as one of the most important ingredients with high growth rates going forward especially with highly concentrated omega-3 and that’s where the technology we have acquired here kicks in.”

Dissinger said the facility was now the, “benchmark in separation technologies within BASF.”

He also spoke of the potential synergies between BASF Pharma (Callanish) and Pronova, if its €644m bid for the Norwegian firm is approved – and the back story of patented omega-3 drugs being opened up to generic opposition.

€22m has been committed to the BASF Pharma (Callanish) site – formerly known as Equateq before BASF’s May 2012 take over – that can now churn out 250 tonnes of omega-3 oils at up to 99% purity. Previous output was just 20 tonnes.

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