New products from the agri-food industry: the return of n-3 fatty acids into the food supply

Lipids. 1999;34 Suppl:S297-301. doi: 10.1007/BF02562324.


The meat from animals and fish in the wild, chicken eggs produced under complete natural conditions, and wild plants contain higher amounts of n-3 fatty acids compared to domesticated or cultivated ones. The composition of meats, fish, and eggs is dependent on animal feed. Fish-meal, flax, and n-3 from algae in animal feeds increase the n-3 fatty acid content of egg yolks and lead to the availability of n-3 fatty acid-enriched eggs in the marketplace. Research is ongoing for the production of n-3 fatty acid-enriched products from poultry, beef, lamb, pork, milk, bakery products, etc. In the case of n-3 fatty acid-enriched eggs, the egg under complete natural conditions (Greek or Ampelistra egg) can serve as a guide for proper composition. Otherwise, the amount of n-3 fatty acids is determined by the organoleptic properties of the products. It is essential in the process of returning the n-3 fatty acids into the food supply that the balance of n-6/n-3 fatty acids in the diet that existed during evolution is maintained. Clinical investigations confirm the importance of n-3 fatty acids for normal function during growth and development and in the modulation of chronic diseases. The availability of n-3 fatty acid-enriched products should lead to improvements in the food supply. Pregnant and lactating women and infants should benefit since their diet is deficient in n-3 fatty acids, especially for the vegetarians among them. Studies with n-3-enriched eggs lower cholesterol levels, platelet aggregation, and blood pressure. Since cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and autoimmune, allergic, and neurological disorders appear to respond to n-3 fatty acid supplementation, a diet balanced in n-3 and n-6 fatty acids consistent with the diet during human evolution should decrease or delay their manifestation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Diet*
  • Eggs
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Food Industry / trends*
  • Humans
  • Lactation
  • Meat
  • Pregnancy


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3