Author(s): Kitessa SM, Abeywardena M, Wijesundera C, Nichols PD
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Abstract Benefits of long-chain (≥C20) omega-3 oils (LC omega-3 oils) for reduction of the risk of a range of disorders are well documented. The benefits result from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); optimal intake levels of these bioactive fatty acids for maintenance of normal health and prevention of diseases have been developed and adopted by national and international health agencies and science bodies. These developments have led to increased consumer demand for LC omega-3 oils and, coupled with increasing global population, will impact on future sustainable supply of fish. Seafood supply from aquaculture has risen over the past decades and it relies on harvest of wild catch fisheries also for its fish oil needs. Alternate sources of LC omega-3 oils are being pursued, including genetically modified soybean rich in shorter-chain stearidonic acid (SDA, 18:4ω3). However, neither oils from traditional oilseeds such as linseed, nor the SDA soybean oil have shown efficient conversion to DHA. A recent breakthrough has seen the demonstration of a land plant-based oil enriched in DHA, and with omega-6 PUFA levels close to that occurring in marine sources of EPA and DHA. We review alternative sources of DHA supply with emphasis on the need for land plant oils containing EPA and DHA.
This article was published in Nutrients
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development