Across the Nutra-verse: US hemp cultivation rising, efficient & sustainable calanus harvesting, sand more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / denphumi
© Getty Images / denphumi

Related tags: Probiotics, Hemp, omega-3

It’s been a busy week for the nutra- industry around the world: Stay on top of the global nutra-news with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.

Europe

New tech to advance Calanus harvesting for omega-3

Expected increases in demand for calanus oil are driving expansion plans by Norway’s Calanus AS, which is developing a new generation of zooplankton trawls with on-board devices which allow them to increase efficacy and reduce bycatch in the 'challenging' area of oceanic harvesting.

The new technology will bring the company closer to a more efficient, sustainable and eco-friendly oceanic harvesting of the omega-3 source Calanus finmarchicus​, said the company.

Calanus oil is extracted from the copepods of the same name Calanus finmarchicus. ​It contains the omega-3s EPA and DHA predominantly in the wax ester form (the oil is slightly viscous). The oil also contains astaxanthin, which gives its ruby color.

Wax esters are historically associated with penguin, seal, and whale oil, but are being produced by Norwegian company Calanus AS from C. finmarchicus. ​A

According to Salma et al. (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids​, 2016, Vol. 108, pp. 13-21), Calanus finmarchicus​ is “the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean with annual production of several hundred million tonnes.”

Despite such predictions, the Norwegian government does have a precautionary quota, which is set at 254 000 tons per year - significantly lower than the potential sustainable yield according to Calanus.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.

USA

US hemp cultivation ramping up

Hemp acreage in the US has increased from 78,000 acres in 2018 to 285,000 this year. The acreage is expected to continue to grow, with estimates of 741,000 acres in 2020.  By 2023 it could be as high as 2.3 million acres, according to a report by the Brightfield Group, a CBD market research firm.

The report found that 87% of the hemp grown in the US was planted for purposes of CBD extraction. 

However, there is a mismatch between supply and processing capacity

“There is an undersupply of hemp processors currently and that does make it difficult for hemp cultivators in certain regions.  There is a mismatch and many of the hemp cultivators had said that they had not yet found a buyer for their hemp,” ​said Virginia Lee, research manager at Brightfield Group.

Lee also said that as hemp is a new crop for many cultivators and is being grown in many different regions, there is still a high degree of variability in the crops.  For processors looking to concentrate CBD, either as a ‘broad spectrum’ extract or as an isolate, the CBD content of the raw material is a key factor. Some cultivators have been able to deliver on that promise while others have fallen short.

“Processors would rather process industrial hemp with the highest CBD content,” she added.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.

Asia

Probiotic research studies growing ‘exponentially’ in Asia

China is leading the way within APAC for studies into probiotics, according to review backed by the International Probiotics Association.

Speaking at the recent Probiota Asia summit in Singapore, Professor Ger Rijkers, from University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands explained that China was conducting 2,133 studies on probiotics, followed by India at 1,005, Japan at 970, and Iran at 630.

In addition, data from the World Health Organisation’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) indicates that China has 311 studies registered, while Iran has 248 studies registered for this year. 

Prof Rijkers also highlighted the emerging, and rising, focus on the benefits of probiotics beyond gut health, such as the link between probiotics and depression, irritable bowel, obesity, and cancer.

“What certainly needed more research is in the field of the gut-brain axis. I think it is important because neurodegenerative diseases are associated with increased lifespan, and there's Alzheimer's and dementia,” ​he said.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

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