COLUMBIA, Md., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DHA omega-3 innovator and maker of the life'sDHA™ brand, Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK) announced today that it has signed a five-year agreement with Fortune Global 500 company COFCO Food Sales & Distribution Co., Ltd, a branch of the COFCO group, for the use of Martek's life'sDHA in COFCO cooking oils and potentially other categories.
COFCO launched its first consumer product featuring Martek's life'sDHA this month. COFCO's Fortune Natural Grains Blended Cooking Oil with life'sDHA is now available at major retailers across China and features the life'sDHA logo on the product packaging and in related marketing, advertising and promotional materials. This is the first cooking oil with DHA to be launched in China.
"Our new Fortune Natural Grains Blended Cooking Oil with life'sDHA signals a new era of scientific and technological innovation in the cooking oil industry," said Chen Gang, COFCO's general manager.
In China, the edible cooking oils market is excess of $9 billion and continues to grow each year. China is the world's largest consumer of edible oils, at 24 million tons per year.
"We are pleased to be working with COFCO, a leader and innovator in the Chinese cooking oil industry, to introduce the first healthy cooking oil with life'sDHA to Chinese consumers to help support brain, eye and heart health," said David Abramson, president of Martek. "This product launch is a significant milestone as we seek to expand our presence in international markets like China, and as we continue to diversify our product applications, including the large and growing cooking oil category."
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diets. Scientific reviews have highlighted the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Leading experts around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, most consumers do not get enough DHA in their diets.
"This is a very innovative product," said Shanghai senior nutritionist Chen Wen. "DHA is important for brain, eye and heart health throughout life and we believe Fortune Natural Grains Blended Cooking Oil with vegetarian life'sDHA will appeal to the Chinese market."
Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is included in more than 99 percent of all formulas on the U.S. market, as well as in more than 350 infant formula, nutritional supplement, and food and beverage products sold in over 75 countries worldwide.
Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK) is a leader in the innovation, development, production and sales of high-value products from microbial sources that promote health and wellness through nutrition. The company is the world's leading provider of algal DHA omega-3 with its flagship product, life'sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of algal DHA omega-3 important for brain, heart and eye health throughout life, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements. The company also produces life'sARA™ (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula and growing up milks. Additionally, Martek's subsidiary, Amerifit Brands, develops, markets and distributes branded consumer health and wellness products in major mass, club, drug, grocery and specialty stores and holds leading brand positions in all of its key product categories. For more information on Martek Biosciences, visit http://www.martek.com. For a complete list of life'sDHA™ or life'sARA™ products, visit http://www.lifesdha.com. For more information about Amerifit Brands, visit www.amerifit.com.
Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2009 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
Contact: Kyle Stults Investor Relations (410) 740-0081 Investors@martek.com Cassie France-Kelly Public Relations (443) 542-2116 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Martek Biosciences Corporation