Under the agreement, Fomana Capital, the investment arm of the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA), will provide capital and raw materials and Industrial Research will provide the processing expertise.
Project begins with fish oil
Using Crown Research Institute’s science and engineering facilities, the companies will begin working with each other to develop fish oil products rich in omega-3.
The partners are planning to install a pilot plant and begin manufacturing lipids enriched with omega-3 fatty acids this year and then move to market before 2010.
“We have been looking for an opportunity to develop new natural products enriched in omega-3 fatty acids for a long time,” said Owen Catchpole, IRL Integrated Bioactive Technology Group Manager.
“We believe that there are opportunities for the development of new products with a wider range of health benefits compared to what is currently available.”
Providing capital and raw materials
As well as providing capital, Fomma will bring the raw materials to the table that will be used to build the products.
“With Fomma’s access to supplies of raw biomass used in the production of these products and IRL’s world-class expertise in techniques used to harness bioactive properties such as super-critical extraction, I believe this collaboration has significant potential,” said IRL CEO Shaun Coffey.
The agreement should help Fomana get better returns for FOMA members, who hold significant interests in horticulture, seafood, aquaculture and sheep and beef farming in New Zealand.
Once the fish oil project is up and running, IRL and Fomana intend to move into other high value products derived from natural materials.