Chennai, Sep16 : ABL Biotechnologies Ltd has established India's first and the world's second facility for the production of the essential fatty acid DHA, at Tiruchendur in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rs 40 crore.
This investment to retail DHA in the form of capsules and fortified foods from 2009, was being made in the current year and the in facility will begin production in 2008, a company release said here today.
DHA(Docasa Hexaenoic Acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid, all the fatty acids which are essential in the human diet are either omega-3 or omega-6. The omega-3 and omega-6 family of fatty acids are essential because they cannot be synthesized in the body, but must be obtained in the diet. The technology for this project has been developed under ABL, the second producer of DHA in the world.
The upgraded facility in India will enable ABL to produce DHA at lower price and faciliate higher productivity. ABL's work centres around a variant of the organism Schizochitrium sp., which is isolated from the eastern cost of India. This source has been approved and classified by the USFDA to be GRAS. Almost 60 per cent of heart attacks occur without warning due to irregular heartbeats, which the fatty acid DHA can prevent.
DHA can also benefit the brain as it is highly concentrated in membranes of brain synapses and in the retina of the eye. DHA declines in brain cell (neuron) membranes with aging and may result in declining mental function. DHA requirements for brain development in the late-stage foetus and newborn are so critical that even a slight deficiency can have a life-long impact on intelligence.
DHA is important in the pre-natal and post-natal stage for optimal infant brain, eye and nervous system development. Additionally, research suggests that adequate levels of DHA in the maternal diet may play a role in helping a mother's emotional well-being after birth.
Between birth and the age of five, the human brain increased approximately 3.5 times in mass. It is important that children's diet has amount of DHA in their diet to support proper and adequate rapid brain and eye growth and development. DHA ensures that cells in the brain, retina, heart and other parts of the nervous system develop and function properly.