Functional foodstuffs: The challenge of omega-3 in finished products

By Nathan Gray in Frankfurt

- Last updated on GMT

The challenge of getting beneficial omega-3 fatty acids into finished products is a big one for the food ingredients and manufacturing industry. But how can suppliers and manufacturers work to get these ingredients into a wider range of products?

Demand for the incorporation of nutritional lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, into finished products is growing strongly. Yet the industry still faces a battle to get these functional oils into a form that is stable and useful for finished product manufacturers, says Dr Rob Winwood, manager scientific communications at DSM Nutritional Products

Speaking with us at HiE in Frankfurt, and ahead of the 10th Practical Short Course in Omega-3 and Nutritional Lipids – also in Frankfurt – Winwood explained that a lot of European consumers would generally prefer to receive key nutrients in a natural foodstuff rather than a supplement.

“We have ongoing challenges with that,”​ said the DSM expert, who notes that such long chain fatty acids are fairly unstable and prone to oxidation.

“We always have to play the game of trying to make sure that there is nothing to initiate that oxidation process. Because once it starts, you can’t stop it,”​ he added.

“I think it’s true to say that when we first started encapsulating fish oil to make powders, they were not particularly good and were not particularly stable,”​ Winwood said, noting that encapsulation techniques have now developed to allow much more secure and stable encapsulation of such lipids.

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1 comment

Omega 3, the truth...

Posted by ivan pedro J.Schiffer,

I have listened carefully to Dr. Rob´s statement and praise him for his honest view for what his experiments are trying to achieve. I am sorry to say that he and others are trying to achieve the impossible.
Dr. Catherine Kousmine sinthesized this equation in a single phrase ¨Fatty Acids cannot be manipulated at pharmaceutical level¨, These bodies are atomic substances of very fragile nature, extremely sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. Any exposure will trigger oxidation.
Fatty Acids will easily transform into more stable isomers becoming biologically inactive.
The Cis-Cis (COOH)biologically active fatty acids, will become in such condition at its double link levels, by rotation of its molecular fragments into a Cis-Trans configuration, inactive. The resulting molecular structures become not only incapable to perform the functions for which these were aimed originally but also compete with the Cis forms where most of the biological activity occurs.
I am sorry to say Dr.Rob never modern chemistry will be able to manipulate Omegas in any way, these have a life of their own and breaking it up or changing its constitution into powders or any other form is simply killing it. If you want to produce and provide good quality essential fatty acids to people go back to terrestrial oleaginous plants, extract the oils in a hydraulic pressure, protected from light, heat and oxygen by flushing nitrogen (argan) gas into the pressing chamber, directly bottling it into 20 ml vials, also nitrogen flushed, to be consumed at once after opening. An adult person needs a daily supply of these Omegas 3,6,and 9 combined of minimum 11 grams up to 23 grams.
Then please go to Kathleen M.Botham ,PhD,DSc,and Peter A. Mayes PhD,DSc, (Human Biochemistry), to learn about Ketogenesis and how the oxidation of fatty acids occur in the Mitochondria,how they penetrate the Mitochondrial Membrane as Carnitine Derivatives, how it involves successive cleavage with release of Acetyl -CoA, also the cyclic Reactions Sequence wich generates FADH2 and NADH and the several enzymes known collectively as ¨Fatty Acids Oxidase* which are found in the Mitochondrial Matrix or inner membrane adjacent to the respiratory chain, and phosphorilation and so on and so on....So by providing direct DHA and EPA on grounds that some people are unable to achieve these mutations, it all sounds very vague to me. Proposing such chemical approach supplementation industry is cutting off one of the most crucial and important pathway in human bio-chemistry.
Just to complement, remember that Ketogenesis occurs where there is a high rate of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, kethone bodies serve as fuel for extra hepatic tissues, ketogenesis is regulated at three crucial steps, impaired oxidation of fatty acids gives rise to diseases often associated with Hypoglycemia then starts the Bio synthesis of Fatty Acids and Eicosanoids and the main pathway for denovo synthesis of fatty acids (lipogenesis)which occurs in the Cytosol. and again so on....

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