Farmers on an island in the Atlantic are tending half a hectare of what they hope will blossom into the next major source of omega-3 fatty acids: ahiflower.
Technology Crops International has contracted the farmers to cultivate the flowers. Their seeds contain a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s believed to be more easily absorbed than what’s available from other plant sources, such as flax seed, according to CBC.ca.
"There's an increasing demand for omega-3s in the marketplace, and in particular with omega-3s that are derived from crops as opposed to fish," said Steve Howatt, VP of business development for Technology Crops. "Crops are seen to be more sustainable, therefore we have embarked on developing some new plant-derived sources."
There haven’t been any human trials of ahiflower oil, but Technology Crops International’s working on that, too. They’re partnering with Canada’s University of Moncton for a study, with results expected to be published this fall. That month-long, double-blind study will compare the levels of omega-3 fatty acids of people consuming ahiflower oil to the levels of those being supplemented with flax seed.
For the complete story on different omega-3 sources, check out the new Nutrition Business Journal / Engredea monograph report on omega-3s. Click here for more information.