Wiley's Finest strikes out beyond fish with vegetarian omega-3s, pine tree sterols products

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

The oil seeds from which Ahiflower oil is extracted (one of the ingredients in the new Wiley's Finest products) are grown by farmers in the UK. Photo courtesy of Nature's Crops International
The oil seeds from which Ahiflower oil is extracted (one of the ingredients in the new Wiley's Finest products) are grown by farmers in the UK. Photo courtesy of Nature's Crops International

Related tags Omega-3s Epa Dha Fish oil ahi flower

Wiley’s Finest has ventured beyond the realm of fish-based omega-3s with new products that feature algal and oil seed ingredients and a heart health product based on pine tree sterols that were developed by a Chilean firm.

The new plant sterols product is called Bold Heart by Cardiosmile, which is a brand name of an ingredient extraction technique developed by Nutrartis, an ingredient technology firm based in a suburb of Santiago.

Sam Wiley, CEO of Wiley’s Finest, said  his company has been focused on omega-3s products made form Alaskan Pollock oil for some time.  The company has a dedicated transport system that quickly ships raw material from Alaska to the company’s headquarters in Coshocton, OH to ensure fresh oil and secure supply.

Another avenue to heart health

But omega-3s products are principally about heart health, and Wiley said his company has been interested in plant sterols for some time and has been doing custom process of the ingredients for customers for 15 years.  Wiley’s has had a combo fish oil/sterols product on the market for several years.  The new Bold Heart product, which delivers 2 grams of pine tree sterols per serving without the fish oil, will appeal to vegetarian consumers concerned about cholesterol levels, Wiley said.  His company took the decision to license the Nutrartis technology for  products for the US and UK markets.

The new technology allows the pine sterol esters to be offered in a water dispersible form, Wiley said.  In the past sterols had to be administered with large amounts of fat, which made them appropriate to incorporate into a fish oil product.

“The new technology makes for a particle size that is very small so it is very effective. And we were able to get a high dose into a stick pack,” ​Wiley said. “Historically most of the plant sterols have been sold into functional foods.”

Wiley said it’s ironic that while Nutrartis is based in South America, the pine species they work with are native to the southeastern US.  The raw materials comes from loblolly pine and longleaf pine trees.

Vegetarian omega-3s product

The other new product launch that the company is featuring (and would have featured at the now postponed Expo West trade show) is an all vegetarian omega-3s product branded as Catch-Free Omega.

One of the constituents is Ahiflower oil, which is a crop and ingredient derived from it developed byNature’s Crops International.  The ingredient comes from the seeds of the corn gromwell plant (Buglosoides arvensis​), which has high amounts of steriodonic acid (SDA), an intermediate essential fatty acid that coverts into EPA in the body as much as 4 times better than does the alpha linolenic acid (ALA) found in flax seeds or some other oil seed sources. Nature’s Crops International contracts with farmers in the UK to grow its seeds.

To complete the other side of the omega-3s coin Wiley’s chose an algal DHA oil supplied by Algarithm.  The ingredient uses Virun’s Esolve technology to deliver a good taste profile,  Wiley said.

“Taste has always been one of our focuses here at Wiley’s Finest.  If people don’t like taking your product you failing in delivering the full benefits. Algarithm’s technology allows them to use a water-based extraction that makes for a good tasting oil,”​ he said.

The new product also includes MenaQ7, a branded form of vitamin K2 from Norwegian supplier Nattopharma, and Vitashine, a branded, vegetarian form of vitamin D3.  The combination of ingredients was meant to appeal to a certain set of consumers, Wiley said.

“We are making a very intentional and strategic choice to serve a set of consumers that are underserved by the fish oil market.  We believe the product will appeal to women aged 30 to 55 who probably have a fish oil consumer in the household.  What we say from our consumer data and talking to our customers is that these consumers are less interested in single nutrient platforms. They want things that offer a collection of nutrients,”​ Wiley said.

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