DK: Fiskeolieemulsion. Foto: DTU Fødevareinstituttet | UK: Fish oil emulsion. Photo: National Food Institute.

Handbook features the latest knowledge on omega-3 fatty acids

Tuesday 31 Aug 21


Charlotte Jacobsen
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 23 27 90 75

A newly published handbook contains the latest knowledge on ways to extract, produce and protect health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids. The book was edited by researchers at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

The health-promoting properties related to consumption of omega-3 fatty acids are well-documented. Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish. However, even consumers who eat lots of fish struggle to meet the recommended omega-3 intake solely through their diet.

For this reason, the food industry has a keen interest in adding these health-promoting oils to various foods. However, it is a challenge to find ways of preventing the fatty acids from going rancid and to find ways of incorporating the fatty acids that ensure they reach the place in the body where they can be of most benefit.

A handbook published by Elsevier in July 2021 provides a thorough introduction to the latest knowledge about ways to extract, produce, add and protect omega-3 fatty acids. It is aimed at researchers and industry professionals in food businesses’ R&D departments.

Three National Food Institute staff, namely Professor Charlotte Jacobsen, Senior Researcher Ann-Dorit Moltke Sørensen and Researcher Betül Yesiltas in collaboration as well as their former colleague Pedro García-Moreno, who is now Assistant Professor at the University of Grenada, edited the book.

Staff from the Research Group of Bioactives – Analysis and Application at the National Food Institute wrote five of the book’s 21 chapters. The book follows on from the handbook Food Enrichment with Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which was published in 2013.

Focus on ways to protect the oil

In contrast to the previous book, the new book focuses on so-called “delivery systems” for omega-3 fatty acids. It is a type of encapsulation of the fatty acids, which protects them from going rancid both before and after they are added to foods as well as during digestion.

This could be in the form of an emulsion where the oil droplet is surrounded by i.e. proteins that protect it from going rancid. The oil can also be made into a powder where proteins and/or so-called polysaccharides are used to encapsulate the oil before it is dried.

Read more

Find more information about the book Omega-3 Delivery Systems Production, Physical Characterization and Oxidative Stability on Elsevier’s website.

On the National Food Institute’s website you can read more about the the Research Group of Bioactives – Analysis and Application’s efforts to produce knowledge aimed at improving food quality and the oxidation stability of food, as well as increase the population's intake of healthy foods that are rich in vitamins, healthy lipids and proteins.

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