Pork as a Source of Omega-3 (n-3) Fatty Acids
CITATION: Dugan, M. E. R., et al. 2015. Pork as a Source of Omega-3 (n-3) Fatty Acids. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 4(12): 1999-2011, doi:10.3390/jcm4121956.
The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com
Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world, but typical feeding practices give it a high omega-6 (n-6) to omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid ratio and make it a poor source of n-3 fatty acids. Feeding pigs n-3 fatty acids can increase their contents in pork, and in countries where label claims are permitted, claims can be met with limited feeding of n-3 fatty acid enrich feedstuffs, provided contributions of both fat and muscle are included in pork servings. Pork enriched with n-3 fatty acids is, however, not widely available. Producing and marketing n-3 fatty acid enriched pork requires regulatory approval, development costs, quality control costs, may increase production costs, and enriched pork has to be tracked to retail and sold for a premium. Mandatory labelling of the n-6/n-3 ratio and the n-3 fatty acid content of pork may help drive production of n-3 fatty acid enriched pork, and open the door to population-based disease prevention polices (i.e., food tax to provide incentives to improve production practices). A shift from the status-quo, however, will require stronger signals along the value chain indicating production of n-3 fatty acid enriched pork is an industry priority.