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Bakers Embrace Algal Omega-3

Bakers Embrace Algal Omega-3

June 27, 2011

In bakingmanagement.com Jean Thilmany writes about how the emerging desire by the American public for omega-3s, has created challenges as well as opportunities for bakers, and how an increasing number of them are looking to algae for solutions.

Supplementing their products with omega-3 fatty acids from fish sources have traditionally imparted a fishy taste and can spoil easier than omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources, such as walnuts or flax.

But the fatty acids derived from marine sources – either fish or algae – are higher in the long-chain omega-3s known as eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid, or EPA and DHA. These differ from plant-based fatty acids, which contain alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is a shorter-chain version of EPA and DHA. Shorter-chain versions can convert to the longer-chain versions, but at a slower pace than consuming the EPA and DHA versions directly.

With consumer interest in omega-3 growing, bakers have turned to providers such as Martek Biosciences, which markets a DHA omega-3 oil produced from algae called life’sDHA. Earlier this year, the company introduced a combined DHA and EPA product made from algae and called life’sDHA plus EPA, according to Andrea Martin, manager of brand public relations at the company, Columbia, Md. “We grow our algae in enclosed FDA-inspected fermentation tanks, which eliminates the worry of ocean-borne contaminates,” Martin says.

Also, because the oil is produced from algae, baked products made with the product are vegetarian, which can appeal to those who don’t eat food from animal sources.

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Tue June 28 2011 11:06:53 AM by Tomcatino 1451 views
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