Easiest to hardest, I think:
1. Can vitashine provide the D3 in a more dense form?
25 mcg would be the maximum density for 1,000 IU as solid Cholecalciferol.wikipedia wrote:One gram is 40,000,000 (40x106) IU, equivalently 1 IU is 0.025 µg.
It was almost 100 mg per thousand IU in their retail formula- I'm guessing they added that much oil to get it to dissolve into a liquid form for the supplement (so it can be measured in drops, and it doesn't just end up a tiny grain of insoluble salt that passes through in the stomach- which makes sense). But at that concentration, that's 2% of the mass (about two drops per) as a liquid oil, which probably isn't good for stability of the final product.
http://www.scbt.com/datasheet-205630-ch ... ferol.html
Of course, that's not a vegan source. But chemically, it seems to be available pure. Pure wouldn't be necessary, but something like ten times more concentrated would be good.
If not, it's not the end of the world, but it would be much more convenient.
What's vitashine's minimum bulk order?
As far as I know, they're the only game in town for Vegan D3.
If they won't sell in bulk, the only other option may be D2 for now, until another supplier comes along. That would suck.
2. Getting the DHA/EPA in a salt form.
This seems to be the same company as vitashine, ESB Developments.
I'm not sure if they are the maker of the Algae oil, or if they have a supplier for that- but it sounds like they make it.
Will they sell their DHA/EPA in bulk?
And would they consider selling it in a solid calcium or magnesium salt/soap form? Theirs is in triglyceride form.
Here's another company:
http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Produc ... rodID=1649
They claim their's has more EPA than others. Although you mentioned earlier, that's probably not too important as long as the ratio is close (which ESB's is).
Although this company is not a vegan company, they seem to have some reputation, and certification for that product line.
They may be more willing to provide it in a salt form.
If not, can the Ethyl form be converted easily into a salt form?
It seems like it would just be a matter of figuring out the saponification value and then adding calcium or magnesium hydroxide, and then boiling off the excess ethanol.
It adds another step, and I'm not sure what the influence of Vitamin E preservatives would be (which would need to be added for shipping at the very least), but seems possible.
Since ethanol is volatile enough anyway, it could probably just be mixed up with the calcium/magnesium hydroxide and left to reach without bothering to boil off the excess ethanol.
I can't seem to find any other western companies offering Algae oil.
There are a lot of Chinese companies offering Algae oil, though:
I'm pretty sure some of those companies would provide a salt with a large enough order. I'm not clear on how much, if any, EPA is in those.
http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/S ... 87797.html
This one mentions EPA, but nothing about amounts.
Would probably have to get a sample and have an independent lab assay it.
3. Bioavailability of the salt
From what I've read, it's at least somewhat available. The rat study with DHA/EPA, and the apparently proven use of fatty acid salts/soaps in animal feed to stabilize fats suggests it.
I'm having a hard time finding information on the digestion and absorption of soap though. Weird.
I'd feel better if it were tested.
How would we go about that?
Just eat it, and then have our blood serum levels tested?
How much would that kind of assay cost?
After being saponified, what will it taste like?
We're talking about 500 mg of the stuff, which would be 10% of the chew.
It's soap. Is it going to taste and feel like soap? Soap isn't nice to eat. But it's not water soluble, unlike most soap, so would it just taste a little waxy? Wax is much more pleasant than soap, and is widely used in candies.
Can it be deodorized after saponification? Maybe partial vacuum would be able to evaporate any remaining volatiles (in the same way vegetable oil is deodorized)?
Best care scenario, it's a soft wax and has almost no taste after saponification.
Worst case, it tastes and feels like oily fish soap.
That's definitely a concern.