Omega-3 fatty acids like Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) are emerging as some of the most widely used beneficial compounds in human health. Various scientific studies supporting multiple health benefits, increased awareness among the consumers, advances in technological capabilities to incorporate Omega-3 oils into wide category of food products and numerous health approvals from various agencies have contributed to the market growth for DHA/ Omega-3 FAs. Sustainability and contaminants are major challenges with marine supplies of Omega-3 FAs. There is a surge in activities by industry seeking alternate sources, developing production systems and processing of Omega-3 FAs. With rise in vegetarianism, algae has become an attractive source for production of Omega-3 FAs. New technological advances are overcoming the hurdles associated with algae cultivation and it’s processing and are helping algae reach its full potential as a source of Omega-3 FAs and other useful metabolites. Plant sources like Flax, Chia are playing a major role in the new product roll outs by the food industry. There is an increasing trend in using greener chemistry and avoiding harmful solvents in processing of oils. Microencapsulation and other stabilization technologies have helped commercial suppliers overcome the challenges of susceptibility to oxidation and have encouraged the development of shelf-stable products containing Omega-3 FAs like infant formulas, beverages and dairy products, baked foods etc. Emulsions as key development in Omega-3 formulations have expanded their use in beverage applications, especially in clear beverages.
This report covers the production and technological advances that are helping the food industry in extending Omega-3 FAs delivery options and formulating more products with better organoleptic properties and helping consumers gain access to Omega-3 FAs in everyday products.