Over the past year, much has transpired on the fatty acid front, including updated dietary recommendations and final rulings for nutrition labeling. Both events will have major implications for formulations, packaging, and promotion of foods and beverages fortified with omega-3s.
Omega-3s are essential polyunsaturated fats crucial for visual and neurological development and beneficial for heart and brain health. The two forms of omega-3s responsible for the bulk of these benefits are DHA and EPA, both primarily found in fatty fish/fish oil. Other forms of omega-3s include ALA (from certain plant foods), and SDA (not typically found in food; however, SDA-rich oil is extracted from genetically modified soybeans). ALA and SDA are converted by the body to EPA and DHA, but in amounts considered insignificant.