Omega-enriched Bacon

January 27/Journal of Farming -- According to a study from Lacombe, Canada, "North American consumers interested in improving their health through diet perceive red meat as a source of too much saturated and unhealthy fat in the diet. The purpose of this trial was to produce bacon enriched with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)."

"In this 25-day study, pigs were fed a standard finisher diet of canola, pea, corn and barley, mixed with DHA, added in the form of alga biomass. Bacon content of DHA was increased to 97mg/100g when 1g of DHA was added to a kilogram of feed. The pigs fed the highest diet level of alga biomass, containing 0.29% DHA, produced bacon with similar to 3.4mg of DHA/g and 1.2% of the fat as omega-3 fatty acids. Feed to gain was significantly improved, and carcass quality was unaffected. However, problems of off-odors and off-flavors were reported in the bacon from the taste panel survey," wrote W.J. Meadus and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Polyunsaturated fat and potential unsaturated fat oxidation as indicated by malonaldehyde levels were significantly higher in the pigs fed the higher concentrations of DHA."

Meadus and colleagues published the results of their research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ("Production of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Enriched Bacon." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, UNKNOWN DATE;58(1):465-472).

For additional information, contact W.J. Meadus, Agriculture & Agri Food Canada, Lacombe Research Center, Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1, Canada.

From the February 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition