Nanoencapsulation of Omega Fatty Acids in Processed Food Products

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Omega fatty acids are long chain polyunsaturated fats that have a number of potential health benefits.  While beneficial, long-chain lipids oxidize easily, making them difficult to incorporate into foods.  These long-chain lipids break down at a faster rate the longer the molecule gets.  Eventually these long chain lipids break down into unhealthy, short chain lipids.  Recent research into neutraceuticals has examined how to increase the stability of these long chain fatty acids to retain their health benefits and better incorporate them into food products.

There have been recent developments in nano-encapsulating fatty acids such as DHA and EPA with whey protein and nano-encapsulating fatty acids in polysaccharides to create stable, granular beneficial fats that can be incorporated into foods.  Encapsulating these long chain lipids in whey protein allows them to be easily incorporated into protein enriched foods like breads and processed meat.  Encapsulation of these fatty acids in polysaccharides will allow food processors to increase the nutritional value of sweet foods and drinks.  Encapsulating these fats will also help to reduce the sometimes offensive flavor of these lipids that are often harvested from fish, flax or algae.

Ultimately, incorporating these neutraceuticals into processed foods may help to prevent the onset of diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases where diet is a contributing factor.Nanoencapsulated neutraceuticals like these will allow consumer preferences for carbohydrate intensive diets to hold greater nutritional value.


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The encapsulation of Omega fatty acids into proteins and carbohydrates will enhance the nutritional value of processed foods.



Benefit Summary: 

Omega-3 capsules allows for the supplementation of diets while reinforcing consumer preferences for simple carbohydrates.


Risk Summary: 

Public acceptance of genetically modified foods is a synonymous case to nanotechnology in foods. Cultural preferences and risk tolerances will inform the societal risk. The physiological risks of adding nano-encapsulated omega fats in uncontrolled doses are not known at this time.

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