German scientists have come up with a new take on a favorite Bavarian food they hope may catch on: Sausages spiked with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
The Omega-3 Sausage — to be launched by the German retailer EDEKA — may eventually find its way beyond German borders and pave the way for other foods to be boosted with the heart-healthy nutrient commonly found in fatty salt-water fish.
The food scientists, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in the Bavarian town of Freising, noted many people don't get enough omega-3 fatty acids by eating the recommended two-weekly servings of fish.
"We thought that the surest way to solve this problem would be to increase the amount of effective fatty acids in popular foods that people eat in large quantities, such as pizza, pasta, bread, and sausages," said project manager Peter Eisner, describing Fraunhofer IVV's approach. "First, though, we had to deal with the fish smell issue."
Eisner noted omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in heart, brain, and nerve-cell function — particularly the unsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Not only are they easily absorbed into cells, they also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Because the body is unable to produce these important fatty acids by itself, the human body has to absorb them from foods, such as herring, salmon, and mackerel.
The Fraunhofer scientists were able to develop a way to stabilize the omega-3 fatty acids from fish and add them to other foods, without giving them a fishy smell.
"We use specially processed fish oil that contains by itself over 90 percent of valuable fatty acids," explained Eisner. "And despite the added value in terms of health benefits, the sausages are just as tasty as their regular counterparts."
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