skip to main content

Arachidonic Acid

Arachidonic acid (ARA), used in conjunction with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), represent a nutrient combination that is important for infant development. ARA is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid [C20:4 (n-6)], naturally present in human mother’s milk.  Adults can easily convert dietary fatty acids to ARA and DHA but that ability is incompletely developed in infants, leaving breast milk as their only natural source of ARA and DHA. To make these important nutrients available to infants who are not breast fed, they are commonly added to infant formula products.

Meets Strict Quality and Food Safety Requirements

Cargill offers a line of high quality Arachidonic acid (ARA) products serving the worldwide market for infant and child nutrition. Our products and processes are designed to meet the stringent quality and food safety requirements of the international infant formula market. Our global presence and distribution strength, coupled with a fully integrated facility utilizing Cargill’s food safety standards, means the best value available for a reliable, convenient supply of high quality oil and powder products.

Produced in China by a trusted partner who from their inception have been operating according to Cargill’s Food Safety and Quality standards.

Generally Recognized as Safe

Cargill ARA oil is currently Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in the US with a letter of no objection received by the US Food and Drug Administration in February 2011. For use in Europe, Cargill ARA oil complies with the specifications of the ‘Arachidonic acid-rich oil from the fungus Mortierella alpina’ as reported in the Union List of novel food. Our ARA product is also registered or approved in many Asian countries. These registrations and approvals are supported by a thorough analytical and process review including toxicological studies published in Food and Chemical Toxicology and in Toxicology Letters.*

* 1. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 47(10): 2407-2418. 2009. 
  2. Toxicology Letters, 189S: S235-S236. 2009.


Some Cargill products are only approved for use in certain geographies, end uses, and/or at certain usage levels. It is the customer's responsibility to determine, for a particular geography, that (i) the Cargill product, its use and usage levels, (ii) the customer's product and its use, and (iii) any claims made about the customer's product, all comply with applicable laws and regulations.