It is widely recognised that oil-rich fish, high in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, is good for you. In acknowledgement of this, the UK seafood industry recently joined forces to promote oil-rich fish as part of the battle to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The collaboration resulted in the industry gaining permission to make a legally approved health claim on the packaging of oil-rich fish products.
The new claim, relating to heart health, was officially approved by the Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) 2005 and launched to the media by Olympic athlete and Ambassador of the British Heart Foundation, Roger Black.
The packaging regulations will help consumers follow the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommendations relating to fish consumption. The FSA state that people should eat at least two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oil-rich. A portion is equivalent to approximately 140g and in addition, the FSA go on to make further recommendations relating specifically to oil-rich fish:
It is the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oil-rich fish that have been shown to have specific heart health benefits, including providing a lowering effect on blood fats. This, together with related health benefits, results in an overall reduction in heart disease. In addition to this, omega-3 has also been found to play a positive role in maintaining healthy bodily functions in areas such as the brain and inflammatory responses.
The heart health claim will bring greater reassurance to consumers and will help to clear up any confusion which may exist due to the considerable variety of claims currently in use.
Products carrying the new claim are now available in shops. A logo has also been commissioned to assist with easy identification.
For further information, check out the dedicated website on omega-3: www.richinomega3.com