A new study, co-led by University of Cincinnati researchers, describes the development of a refining process that scientists deem a superior method to help produce better dietary omega-3 health and dietary supplements containing fish oil.
Fish oil is widely known to be an excellent dietary source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) having positive effects on human health including heart and eye health, inflammation and bone density.
The novel process uses a new tool called a vortex fluidic device (VFD) developed by research collaborators at Flinders University of Australia. The process is successful in lifting the quality of active ingredients of the PUFAs in fish oil, says Harshita Kumari, the study’s co-author and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UC’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.
The study now appears in Nature Papers Journals Science of Food.
Researchers applied the VFD-mediated encapsulated fish oil to enrich the omega-3 fatty acid content of apple juice.
“This novel process enriches the omega-3 fatty acid content of apple juice remarkably without changing its taste,” says Kumari, adding that two common consumer complaints regarding fish oil supplements is the taste and odor. Liquid omega-3 oils can also break down over time when exposed to oxygen which leads to degradation.
Compared to regular homogenization processing, Kumari says the device can raise PUFA levels and purity by lowering oxidation and dramatically improving shelf life. Natural bioactive molecules, also used in processing, reveal that the fish oil medium can absorb flavonoids and other health supplements.