Fraunhofer researchers in Germany have come up with a new method of adding omega-3 fatty acids to sausages, to allow German consumers to continue eating their favourite foods, but with the main nutritional benefit of fish.
According to dietary guidelines, Germans are encouraged to eat 150-220 g of fish per week, mainly in order to consume enough essential omega-3 fatty acids, thought to be particularly important in regenerating heart, brain and nerve cells. However, despite a high level of awareness that omega-3s are important for good health, and that fish is a particularly good source, few Germans consume enough fish.
Fraunhofer researchers say they saw an opportunity to add omega-3s to foods that were particularly popular in Germany, like bread, sausages, pasta and pizza, thereby increasing consumption - but first they had to overcome the fishy smell of omega-3 fats, which are susceptible to oxidation.
The researchers - from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in the Bavarian town of Freising - created a patented emulsion system combining different antioxidants. Some are intended to protect against oxidation, others support the effects of the first group, and others eliminate substances that accelerate fat degradation.
The technology has been developed in conjunction with German food retailer Edeka, which introduced the first omega-3 fortified sausages using the technology under its own brand last month. The range includes nine different popular sausage varieties which, as well as containing significant amounts of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, also have lower overall fat content than regular sausages.
Source: Fraunhofer IVV