First fish enriched with omega-3 is portuguese
It’s another milestone in the field of sustainable aquaculture. For the first time, Portugal will begin producing fish enriched with omega-3, in response to the growing demand for foods rich in this nutrient, which has been proven to be beneficial for health. “The success of the OmegaPeixe project allows consumers to have access to differentiated fish, namely sea bass and turbot, with high nutritional value and produced sustainably, respecting both animal welfare and the environment,” congratulates Renata Serradeiro, CEO of Flatlantic.
The main objective of the OmegaPeixe project was to produce national fish, sea bass, and turbot, enriched with long-chain omega-3, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its role in preventing cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, diabetic, and depressive conditions.
The team from the Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICBAS) at the University of Porto and the CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, led by researcher Luísa Valente, optimized aquaculture diets using sustainable sources, ensuring that sea bass and turbot met the recommended levels of long-chain omega-3 by the World Health Organization for a healthy life.
The turbot, marketed by Flatlantic, is already available in the market. The organic sea bass from ALGAplus will be fully available in 2024, in major retailers. “We are talking about high-quality fish for consumers, fed with natural ingredients and diets rich in omega-3, essential for human health. This is an important milestone for the country, as it puts Portugal at the forefront of sustainable aquaculture and food innovation,” highlights Helena Abreu, founder of ALGAplus.
“The consumption of healthy food produced in an increasingly sustainable way is a global trend. Therefore, the importance of this project. Consumers, in general, are becoming more aware of the relevance of long-chain omega-3, and based on conducted studies, we believe that this new product should be well received,” explains Maria Coelho, executive coordinator of B2E – Collaborative Laboratory for Blue Bioeconomy, also emphasizing the importance of the organic turbot and sea bass bearing the Made in Portugal label.
The OmegaPeixe consortium is led by the company Flatlantic, based in Mira, and responsible for the production of turbot. Additionally, it partners with ALGAplus, located in Ílhavo and specialized in integrated aquaculture, responsible for organic sea bass. The ICBAS at the University of Porto/CIIMAR coordinated the scientific studies to assess the impact of diets on the species, ensuring their nutritional optimization. The Collaborative Laboratory for Blue Bioeconomy (B2E CoLAB), on the other hand, was responsible for revisiting the market acceptance of differentiated aquaculture products, seeking to understand consumers’ receptivity to these new products.
The project lasted two and a half years and involved an investment of around one million euros, of which almost 666,000 euros were supported by Portugal 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds, from the European Union, through the System of Incentives for Research and Technological Development.
The project’s results will be presented on June 29th at 10:00 am at Atrium Mira, with the presence of the Secretary of State for Fisheries, Teresa Coelho. At the end, there will be a showcooking by Chef Luís Lavrador from the Fama restaurant (Aveiro), where the enriched sea bass and turbot, both rich in omega-3 fatty acids, will be tasted (program attached). Registration for the workshop and showcooking is free but mandatory until June 26th at: bit.ly/omegapeixe.