Producing welsh lamb high in omega 3 fatty acids
A group of 9 farmers in North Ceredigion came together under the ‘Agrisgôp'(Managing Farms with IT) programme. Following lengthy discussions on the future of lamb sales and having researched various avenues the group members came across ‘Functional Foods'.
Scientifically, functional foods have been defined as "affecting beneficially one or more target functions in the body beyond adequate nutritional effects in a way that is relevant to either an improved state of health and well-being and/or reduction of risk of disease." Functional foods and drinks therefore have health benefits beyond their nutritional value.
Omega 3 is a beneficial fatty acid. Currently the human diet is too rich in omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids and too low in omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, particularly long chain n-3 fatty acids. The only natural dietary sources of these fatty acids are fish, and ruminant products (meat, milk and cheese) from cattle, sheep and goats. These farmers wanted to investigate whether they could enhance the levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the meat of their lamb.
Who did the work?
The work was undertaken by Bristol University and funded by HCC. Other partners in the project were IGER, Wynnstay Feeds and the farmer producer group from North Ceredigion.
A full report can be seen here.