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article imageResearch Seeks To Develop Plant Seeds to Produce Omega-3s

By Bob Ewing     Jan 24, 2008 in Science
The Canadian federal government is planning to invest $3 million in a project that will seek to to extract the seeds from a weed to produce health oils similar to omega-3. The product could replace fish oils.
Marc Surette, a biochemist at the University of Moncton, is hoping that the research that he and his team are planning will allow them to extract the seeds from a weed to produce health oils similar to omega-3.
A CBC report says that the Canadian federal government through the Atlantic Innovation Fund will invest $3 million into this research over the next five years.
"The omega-3 fatty acids that you really want are found in fish oils," Surette said. "The problem is that fish oils are becoming more and more scarce."
It is possible that if this works then the plant oil could eventually replace the omega-3 that comes from fish.
"To have a vegetable source of oils that metabolically are similar to fish oil, in other words when you eat them your body uses them in the same way, would really be a boon," he said.
As well, the university is hoping to develop a bacteria that would help the plant produce more seeds.
The plan is to grow the plants in the St. John River Valley; then the oils will be tested to determine how well they work on humans. It will take a few years to get this product to the marketplace.
More about Seeds, Omega-3s, Moncton
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