February 15, 2018
Australia OKs production of plant-based long chain omega-3 for farmed fish
Australia's regulators have approved the production of omega-3 canola, the world's first plant-based source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, for use in fish feed and human consumption.
Canola-3 omega was developed by Nuseed Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Melbourne-based Nufarm, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Grains Research and Development Corp. (GRDC).
The Australian Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) announced on Tuesday (Feb. 13) that Nuseed's omega-3 canola had been approved for cultivation and use in animal feed. Food uses of the omega-3 canola have been reviewed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), with approval granted for sale and use in food in Australia and New Zealand.
The new product, according to Nuseed, aims to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current source for this important nutrient. "By providing a proven land-based source of these oils, Nuseed will help maintain adequate supply to meet increasing global demand for long chain omega-3s", it said.
It said one hectare of Nuseed's omega-3 canola has the potential to provide the omega-3 yield equivalent to 10,000 kilogrammes of wild caught fish.
Nufarm Managing Director and CEO Greg Hunt said the Australian approval represents a milestone in the project and validates the quality of the product and extensive data that merited OGTR's nod.
Nuseed Global General Manager for Innovation and Strategy Andy Thomas said they would continue to conduct more research activities and field trials this year.
"We remain on track with our plan to commence commercialisation in 2019, with production programmes planned in the US (pending US approval)", he said.
Nuseed, which develops unique canola, sorghum and sunflower plant traits, plans to initially commercialise omega-3 oil—branded as Aquaterra—for aquaculture feed uses, followed by Nutriterra for human nutrition applications.