Canadian foundation gives stamp of approval to omega-3 in dairy

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Fatty acid

Fortified dairy products have received approval from the Canadian
Heart and Stroke Foundation's as it granted the country's NutriOne
Corporation licensee a four-year extension to its Health Check

Every food in this information program is evaluated by registered dietitians, based on Canada's Food Guide. In turn, manufacturers are allowed to put the Health Check symbol on food packaging as an assurance to consumers that the product contributes to a healthy diet.

Symbols such as these can boost sales as consumers may be more aware of what they signify than the ingredients in the package, according to NutriOne.

"In the neighbourhood of 65 percent of consumers in Canada recognize the Health Check symbol and know what it means,"​ NutriOne president Ian Morrice told "And about 500 products have the Health Check symbol in Canada - from oatmeal to juice."

And as the functional foods market grows, it is worthwhile for food companies to make their packaging readily distinguishable from those of their compeditors.

The global market for functional foods was estimated at over $80 billion in 2005.

NutriOne's flagship fortifying ingredient is called Nutramagic. It is a premix made derived from canola, containing omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the omega-6 acid, arachidonic acid (ADA).

Amongst a clutch of other benefits, studies have linked these healthy lipids to cardiovascular health.

According to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, 32 percent of all male deaths in the country in 2002 were due to heart diseases, diseases of the blood vessels and stroke. For women, the toll was 34 percent.

The health check program extension for Dairy Fresh Farms is valid until 2010.

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