New Research and Development Page

Nutriterra Total Omega-3 Research and Development: The Science Behind Nuseed’s Once-in-a-Generation Advancement For Sustainable Nutrition

Sometimes the most impressive innovations come from preposterous ideas, like “What if the ocean wasn’t the only source of DHA and EPA omega-3?” This is the thought experiment that inspired the world’s first plant-based source of seven long-chain fatty acids. Our research and development page marks the key events and published research between contemplating an (almost) impossible idea to commercially launching a novel source of scarce, yet essential, nutrients. Join us on the journey of collaboration to create and validate Nutriterra® Total Omega-3. 

In the early days of the new millennium, researchers at Nuseed, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and the Grains Research Development Council (GRDC), recognized that fish oil and other marine sources would not be able to meet the rising worldwide demand for omega-3 oil. They set out to develop a new, scalable source of these vital nutrients and found that canola, or Brassica napus, was the perfect platform for scalable, commercially sustainable long-chain omega-3 production. Nuseed was selected as the ideal breeding partner due to our expertise in canola.

The research team introduced omega-3 producing genes from microalgae into canola, creating an enzymatic pathway for the crop to produce long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) from the oleic acid inherent to the crop. This biotechnological breakthrough led to the successful development of the world’s first crop-based source of DHA and EPA, Nuseed Omega-3 Canola, a seed-grain capable of doubling the world’s supply of these essential nutrients and completely disrupting the environmental impact of overfishing and marine degradation. Nuseed Omega-3 Canola is processed into oil for human nutrition, which we branded Nutriterra® Total Omega-3.

Field testing between 2010 and 2019 confirmed the genetic and agronomic viability of DHA canola, and regulatory approvals for cultivation were achieved in Australia, Canada, and the USA, leading to commercial production of seed oil for human and animal consumption. Further studies conducted in 2021 confirmed that, beyond the intended addition of LCPUFAs, omega-3 canola is compositionally similar to conventional canola, supporting regulatory approval for human and animal use in Australia, Canada, and the USA. This research was included in submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and supported their recognition of Nutriterra as a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) and a product designated as Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS).

The team at Nutriterra had studies proving the safety of their product, and approval for consumption, but they also needed to prove the efficacy of Nutriterra Total Omega-3. In 2020-2021, Phase I and II clinical research trials were conducted to evaluate three levels of Nutriterra intake in pharmacokinetic and efficacy studies. The pharmacokinetic study showed that the fatty acids in Nutriterra were bioavailable (absorbed into the body), while the efficacy study showed significantly improved short and long-term term LCPUFA profiles and improvements in indicators of O3 status. What’s more, the important omega-6:omega-3 ratio was improved. Each of these indices were shown to be increased by consumption of Nutriterra, demonstrating the efficacy of this novel omega-3 source in improving omega-3 status.At Nuseed, we’re proud of the years of research and development that have gone into Nutriterra. We invite you to visit our new research page for more detailed information on our breakthrough technology and the science behind it.