News 741 views last update:Jan 19, 2007

Australian research: feed fish food to pigs

Australian scientists have found a way to reduce the amount of fat in pork by feeding fish meal to pigs.

This, they claim, wil lead to produced pork which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which should prevent the prevalence of heart diseases.

These acids are known to break down triglycerides and reduce fat levels in the blood.


University of South Australia researcher Alison Coates said people could now benefit from eating enriched pork instead.

The study was set up with Bartlett Grain and Australian Pork.

Study participants were fed five 200 g serves of the omega-3-rich pork each week for a couple of weeks, with the results showing a decrease in triglyceride, or DHA fats.

"There was an increase in the incorporation of good fats into cell membranes, and what that did was reduce the bad fats in circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease," Dr Coates said.

Fish smells

Dr Coates said concerns that the pork or other omega-3-enriched foods would smell like fish were unfounded. "We did multiple evaluations of this and there was no different in the sensory perceptions," she said.

Several piggeries across Australia are beginning to use the odour-free feed and it has also been made available to poultry farms.

However, it appears unlikely the process can be replicated in cows or sheep, because ruminants have different digestive systems.

Related websites:
• University of South Australia
• Australian Pork
• Bartlett Grain

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