Investigators may have developed a more efficient refining process for fish oil supplements, a rich source of omega-3, according to a new study published in Science of Food.

Fish oil is considered to be an excellent source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). It has been shown to have a positive effect on human heart and eye health, inflammation, and bone density. However, fish oil supplements often have a fishy taste and odor. Liquid omega-3 oils can also break down over time when exposed to oxygen, which leads to degradation.    

Investigators from the University of Cincinnati and Flinders University of Australia developed a refinement process that uses a new tool known as a vortex fluidic device (VFD). The device raises PUFA levels of purity by lowering oxidation-dramatically improving shelf life, according to the study. This is in stark contrast to regular homogenization processing.

Investigators found that fish oil medium can absorb flavonoids and other health supplements. The VFD was able to successfully lift the active ingredients of the PUFAs in fish oil. The VFD-mediated encapsulated fish oil was used to enrich the omega-3 fatty acid content of apple juice, according to the study.

"This novel process enriches the omega-3 fatty acid content of apple juice remarkably without changing its taste," Harshita Kumari, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at The University of Cincinnati, said in the press release.

Reference
Fish oil without the fishy smell or taste [News Release] September 15,2020. Cincinnati, Ohio. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/uoc-fow091520.php. Accessed September 21, 2020.