The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fatty salt-water fish are an important component of a healthy diet in humans. As, for example, Germans still do not eat enough fish, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a method that allows omega-3 fatty acids to be added to popular foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids are odorless in their natural form as they occur for instance in fresh fish or fish oil. They oxidize if they come into contact with oxygen. The resulting degradation products have two drawbacks: the quality of the original substance diminishes and a fishy smell is produced. By a special emulsion system, the researchers achieved a process that locks in the precious fatty acids and protects them against oxidization. The emulsion can be adapted specifically to individual products.
In conjunction with the German supermarket chain EDEKA, Fraunhofer IVV has launched the first of such products: the omega-3 sausage. Since mid-April it is produced in the EDEKA meat processing plants. The food retailer is initially offering nine different varieties: Bavarian white sausage, Bavarian meatloaf in thin and thick slices, Lyon sausage, Lyon sausage with paprika pieces, “bierschinken” ham sausages, a “Gourmet Trio” package of three different cold sausages, wienerwurst, and boiled bratwurst.
- Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Freising, Germany