The company said that it was hoping to build on the successful clinical trials of its CardiaBeat product, aimed at treating diabetes sufferers, to develop a range of products tailored specifically for Asian consumers.
Enzymotec's functional oil formulation, MultOil, has already been shown to potentially reduce the risk for coronary heart disease through preventing and controlling oxidative stress, reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and inhibiting the atherosclerotic plaque formation cascade.
The CardiaBeat product is an extension of MultOil aimed specifically at diabetics, who have been shown to be two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease than non-diabetics.
"The accepted approach for diabetics' nutrition is always based on low-carb diets, while totally ignoring the heart health complications associated with diabetes," said Dr Ariel Katz, Enzymotec's CEO. "Our approach is to tackle diabetics' heart health risks by providing a nutritional solution designed especially to meet their unique health needs and protects them from the serious implications of abnormal fat metabolism."
Enymotec said that the growing incidence of diabetes in Asia showed that there was a clear demand for its product there. "Nowadays, southeast Asia and the Western Pacific suffer from an increasing occurrence of obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes," the company claimed, citing World Health Organisation data showing that there are more than 82 million diabetics there - a figure expected to rise to 290 million by 2030.
This growth is related to changes in nutrition habits, such as the decreasing consumption of traditional and healthy diets, based on sea food, rice, fruits, vegetables, and an increased tendency towards western diets.
CardiaBeat can be used in capsules, tablets, or liquid applications, as well as nutrition bars or in functional foods such as dairy products, salad dressings and bakery products. In Asia, though, the company will focus on cooking oils in particular.
"Contrary to western health perception, Asian consumers do not perceive cooking oils as unhealthy. Moreover, cooking oils are an essential part of their diet", said Michal Haim-Bravman, Enzymotec's southeast Asia and Western Pacific marketing manager.
"Being an integral part of their diet, oil can easily become an ideal delivery platform for healthy ingredients, especially for addressing heart-obesity-diabetes concerns that need daily attention."
The CardiaBeat ingredient can be added to any cooking oil, such as palm, soybean or corn, transforming it into a functional oil, the company said, a very cost-effective way of targeting Asian consumers.
The company said that recent clinical tests had suggested that CardiaBeat showed significantly superior effects on the body's total lipid profile, by lowering the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and oxidative stress in comparison to other oils and supplements available on the market.
Following these results, and in response to health trends, Enzymotec has already started a trial in the fields of obesity and weight management, while a second human study in the field of diabetes is expected soon.