Prairie Orchard Farms to branch into omega-3 chickens

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acids, Meat

A Canadian meat producer is trying to yoke together omega-3 fatty
acids to add to chicken in a way that will boost the meat's
functional value without affecting taste, as the company strives to
label its products accordingly.

Prairie Orchard Farms is a Winnipeg-owned and operated company that has been working with Focus Feeds to identify poultry feed combinations that add healthy fatty acids to chicken meat. The expression “the chicken comes before the egg†is not true in this case, as omega-3 eggs have become mainstream fare before the appearance of any omega-3 chicken meat. Prairie Orchard said it is looking for labeling permission in both Canada and the United States for this type of poultry meat. The producer said it was the first in Canada and the US to produce omega-3/selenium enriched pork products and it received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to label these meats as sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However in 2005 Canadian company Végélip said that it had developed the technology to replace animal-derived trans and saturated fats in a wide range of products with a gel made from healthy oils like canola, flax, fish or marine oils, leading to the launch of an omega-3 hamburger. While an FDA-approved heart health claim exists in the US, Canada does not have any approved structure-function type claims for the lipid ingredient. Prairie Orchard claims that on a flax-enriched diet, poultry is “sufficiently†enriched with omega-3. It said these fatty acids are then built up in the body fat and, once present, play a cyclical role in growth and energy. The producer recently obtained approval from CFIA and USDA to label its pork products as being a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

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