Panel reports off-flavors in omega-3 enriched bacon

by Jeff Gelski
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LACOMBE, ALTA. — Mixing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid, into feed for pigs led to bacon enriched with DHA, but a taste panel survey reported problems of off-odors and off-flavors in the bacon, according to a study from the Lacombe Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Results of the study appeared on-line Nov. 19 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Since some North American consumers perceive red meat as a source of too much saturated fat, the researchers wanted to experiment with adding healthy omega-3 fatty acids into bacon.

During the 25-day study pigs were fed a standard finisher diet of canola, pea, corn and barley mixed with DHA in the form of alga biomass. The pigs fed the highest diet level of alga biomass, which contained 0.29% DHA, produced bacon with 3.4 mg of DHA per gram while 1.2% of the fat was omega-3 fatty acid. Feed to gain improved significantly. Carcass quality was unaffected.

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