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  • By Lynda Kiernan

Scientists Discover Canola-Fed Sheep Produce High Omega-3 Meat

Scientists at the University of Tasmania discovered that when sheep were fed pellets laced with 5% polyunsaturated oils, such as canola oil, the oils transferred into the resulting meat creating a product infused with Omega-3 fatty acids and reduced saturated fats.

The 10-year study was conducted to develop methods for improving the nutritional profile of meat. Sheep do not have naturally occurring omega-3 oils in their meat, and in order for the meat to be officially recognized as a source of the fatty acids, there must be a minimum of 30 milligrams of Omega-3’s per 100 grams of meat.

"We wanted to see if we can help farmers produce sheep meat that has levels of omega-3 that will actually reach source levels or even better in their meat," said University of Tasmania associate professor, Aduli Malau-Aduli. "Traditional sources are fish but we wanted to see if we could help farmers produce sheep that have levels of omega-3s that will actually reach source levels or even better in their meat."

Not only was the team able to achieve source-levels of omega-3’s in the lamb, but the sheep displayed improved health and growth rates. And when tested by chefs, the canola-fed lamb was determined to have superior taste.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.