This study presents data comparing the bioavailability of DHA and EPA delivered by two different formulations: One group received TAG fish oil in traditional soft gel capsules, whereas the other group received the TAG oil as droplets trapped inside a gelatin matrix (gelled emulsions).

The incremental area under the curve (AUC0–26 h) of EPA and EPA + DHA in blood plasma from the gelled emulsions was significantly increased by 44.9 and 43.3%, respectively, compared to soft gel capsules. The maximum incremental concentration of EPA and EPA + DHA was significantly increased by 100.4 and 105.6%, respectively, compared to soft gel capsules.

These results suggest that improved bioavailability of EPA and DHA may be achieved by incorporating emulsified TAG fish oil in a gel matrix prior to oral ingestion.

Practical applications: This study presents a new type of vehicle for the delivery of PUFAs. The vehicles are soft and chewable with the possibility of adding flavours, sweeteners and colour, and this makes the vehicles ideal for delivery of PUFAs to consumers having problems swallowing large capsules or cod liver oil. The vehicles are already applied in products in several countries, including Norway.