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Nutrients 2014, 6(3), 1063-1079; doi:10.3390/nu6031063
Article

Readily Available Sources of Long-Chain Omega-3 Oils: Is Farmed Australian Seafood a Better Source of the Good Oil than Wild-Caught Seafood?

1,* , 2
,
3
 and
3
1 Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, Food Future Flagship, Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia 2 Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, Food Future Flagship, Marine and Atmospheric Research, EcoSciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park, QLD 4102, Australia 3 Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, Food Futures Flagship, Division of Plant Industry, P.O. Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
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Abstract

Seafood consumption enhances intake of omega-3 long-chain (≥C20) polyunsaturated fatty acids (termed LC omega-3 oils). Humans biosynthesize only small amounts of LC-omega-3, so they are considered semi-essential nutrients in our diet. Concern has been raised that farmed fish now contain lower LC omega-3 content than wild-harvested seafood due to the use of oil blending in diets fed to farmed fish. However, we observed that two major Australian farmed finfish species, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and barramundi (Lates calcifer), have higher oil and LC omega-3 content than the same or other species from the wild, and remain an excellent means to achieve substantial intake of LC omega-3 oils. Notwithstanding, LC omega-3 oil content has decreased in these two farmed species, due largely to replacing dietary fish oil with poultry oil. For Atlantic salmon, LC omega-3 content decreased ~30%–50% between 2002 and 2013, and the omega-3/omega-6 ratio also decreased (>5:1 to <1:1). Australian consumers increasingly seek their LC omega-3 from supplements, therefore a range of supplement products were compared. The development and future application of oilseeds containing LC omega-3 oils and their incorporation in aquafeeds would allow these health-benefitting oils to be maximized in farmed Australian seafood. Such advances can assist with preventative health care, fisheries management, aquaculture nutrition, an innovative feed/food industry and ultimately towards improved consumer health.
Keywords: aquaculture; Atlantic salmon; barramundi; lipids; long-chain omega-3; EPA; DHA aquaculture; Atlantic salmon; barramundi; lipids; long-chain omega-3; EPA; DHA
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Nichols, P.D.; Glencross, B.; Petrie, J.R.; Singh, S.P. Readily Available Sources of Long-Chain Omega-3 Oils: Is Farmed Australian Seafood a Better Source of the Good Oil than Wild-Caught Seafood? Nutrients 2014, 6, 1063-1079.

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