Omega-3 fatty acids are part of a larger group of fats called essential fatty acids. Omega-3 (α-linoleic acid) and Omega-6 (linoleic acid) are essential types of fats which the human body cannot produce and must therefore be accessed through diet (consumed). The average North American’s diet is abundant in Omega-6 fatty acids while deficient in Omega-3s; due in large part to the recent changes (last 50 years) in food processing and livestock feed protocol. Omega-6s can be found in corn, soya, and sunflower and in various oils from nuts, grains and pulses. Omega-3s can respectively be found in fish sources (salmon, tuna, sardines), marine algae, krill, leafy-vegetables, walnuts, green grass and flaxseed. In simplest terms, Omega-6s promote inflammatory conditions in the human body while Omega-3s conversely are the anti-inflammatory agents. These competing Omega properties when in-balance provide an amazing human health defense system. The ideal ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3, while still open for discussion, is estimated to be approximately 3:1, with the current North American diet being approximately 25:1. This Omega-6:Omega-3 dietary imbalance has generated significant health, media and now consumer interest. O&T Farms can help to provide a more balanced Omega-6:Omega-3 human diet with the introduction of its proprietary specialty animal feed product which can enrich meats, dairy or egg food products with Omega-3s.
Naturally enriched Omega-3 chicken, turkey, beef, eggs and cheese are now a reality for processors and grocery retailers. Omega-3s are not new to medical, health or nutritional research, but what is new is the Omega-3 awareness at the consumer level. The Omega-3 awareness and its ability to be incorporated into functional foods like meat, dairy and eggs has created the platform for O&T Farms to introduce its proprietary specialty feed product called LinPRO™.
Currently in the US market, there is approximately $5 billion of retail sales in either food or beverage (not including supplements) that have a “High Omega-3” claim. The market share is expected to grow to over $7 billion by 2015 and in reality may be the tip of a much larger health food initiative (Packaged Facts June 2011 Report).
By enriching Omega-3s into meat, dairy or eggs, the profile of the food is improved as saturated fats are decreased and healthy Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are increased. With the breakthrough discovery of its Omega-3 specialty feed ingredient LinPRO, developed using a patented dry-extrusion process, O&T Farms has created the opportunity for a natural transfer of Omega-3s to meat, dairy and eggs. While LinPRO provides the Omega-3 enrichment to food, it also provides excellent protein and energy qualities for the livestock it is fed to and is easily introduced to their diets.
LinPRO offers processors and grocery retailers the opportunity to increase retail value in several functional food categories while also meeting the expectations of their customers by offering all the health benefits of Omega-3 without any fishy taste. LinPRO’s ingredients are all land-based (flaxseed, pulses, alfalfa) thereby creating a sensory profile (taste, texture, color, smell, etc.) that is the same as standard meats, dairy or eggs.
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