New Paper Published in Sustainability on the Necessity for Developing and Adopting Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3.
This fall, the journal Sustainability will be publishing an article about how declining marine resources have fueled the development of new plant-based sources of omega-3, co-authored by members of the Nuseed and CSIRO teams, and Dr. Surinder Singh, the leader of CSIRO’s Plant Oil Engineering division. The special issue of Sustainability, “Marine Biotechnology for Sustainability of Ecologically Significant Resources,” will feature discussions of how marine biotechnologies can potentially enable social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
The paper, “New Sustainable Oil Seed Sources of Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Journey from the Ocean to the Field,” discusses a key issue with the sourcing of omega-3 for use in dietary supplements and aquaculture, and how researchers at Nuseed and CSIRO worked jointly to innovate a solution to this problem.
For decades, dietary supplements have used fish oil as a source of omega-3. Omega-3 has long been recognized to contribute to human health in a variety of ways, including the regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting, and the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. The importance of omega-3 as a part of peoples’ daily diets, as well as the increasing demand for omega-3 supplements, declining marine-based resources, and increasing consumer preference for plant-based sources of omega-3, have all made it imperative for industry leaders to develop an alternative source of omega-3 that is safe and healthy for human consumption.
While some effort has been made to manufacture omega-3 fatty acids by growing algae in tanks, this approach presents significant challenges in terms of cost and resource usage.
Nuseed, joining forces with Dr. Singh’s Plant Oil Engineering team at CSIRO, instead took a different approach. Singh—who received Australia’s version of the Isaac Newton award for his work in plant oil engineering—recognized that canola could likely be bioengineered to produce oil containing omega-3 fatty acids. After years of work, the and CSIRO teams successfully transferred the omega-3 producing genetics of microalgae into canola, ultimately producing Nutriterra, a commercially viable, proprietary plant-based source of omega-3 that has the same benefits to human health as traditional sources of omega-3.
Dr. Singh’s expertise, insights, and contributions have been integral to the development of Aquaterra. We hope you’ll take the time to read the full article, and learn more about the development of plant-based sources of omega-3 like Nutriterra, and the present and future potential of this technology.