Fish oil capsules now in food

Wednesday, 13 June, 2007

Microencapsulation technology is being utilised to store healthy omega-3 oils in processed foods, under an agreement between Food Science Australia (FSA) and the Clover Corporation.

The process will involve enclosing microscopic droplets of fish oil in robust films that protect the oil from the environment and other ingredients.

"The difficulty of incorporating omega-3 fats in foods is that they are highly susceptible to oxidation. The presence of oxidised fats may affect the sensory properties of foods by imparting a 'fishy' flavour and aroma," said FSA's Luz Sanguansri.

Long-chain omega-3 fats, which are found in fish and some microalgal oils, are essential nutrients for optimal brain health and development, but their use as an ingredient in processed foods has been limited by problems with taste and stability.

The robustness of the encapsulating film allows for higher oil loading, prolongs the shelf life of the food and maintains the desired taste.

Clover CEO, Dr Ian Brown, said the encapsulation would "improve the delivery and stability of its rich omega-3 fish oil and other ingredients, enhance the commercial efficiency of providing the bioactives in the fish oil and expand their application in foods and infant formulations".

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