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Waitrose launches omega 3 chicken

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Waitrose launches omega 3 chicken

June 15
14:12 2016

Cherkizovo-first-quarter-2016British supermarket chain Waitrose has announced that it will introduce what it claims is the UK’s first chicken that is a source of omega 3, describing it as a groundbreaking move for a British supermarket.

The company notes that research undertaken in 2013 showed that people with the highest levels of omega 3 had a 40% reduction in cardiovascular related deaths compared to people with the lowest levels. Optimum health benefits are obtained from a daily intake of 250mg of omega 3 fatt¬y acids as part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.

Despite leading authorities recommending regular consumption of foods containing omega 3, research suggests that only 23% of the UK’s adult population consumes the recommended intake, generally classified as at least one portion of oily fish per week. Intake levels are particularly low in children and young people.

The new omega 3 chicken, which is said to be unique to Waitrose, is produced by Moy Park on family farms in Northern Ireland to Waitrose’s bespoke standards, which include plenty of natural light and more space than the industry standards, allowing the birds to display natural behaviour. The chicken is enriched by feeding the birds on a diet containing an algae naturally rich in omega 3. The taste and appearance of the chicken is the same as birds reared on a conventional diet.

The innovation has been brought to market by Waitrose in partnership with its chicken supplier Moy Park and animal nutrition specialist Devenish Nutrition. The supermarket said that the project, which has taken a decade to bring to market, came about as a result of concerns within the medical community that consumers were not including enough sources of omega 3 in their diets; this is of particular concern in children, who often do not like oily fish. To help improve intake, the idea was conceived of developing a more popular protein containing a source of omega 3. Chicken is Waitrose’s top selling protein.

“Our research is showing that this nutritional breakthrough has the potential to have a significant impact on health,” said Heather Jenkins, Waitrose’s Agricultural Director. “What’s exciting is that it’s improving the nutritional content of something which customers already consume frequently as part of their diets.”

Initial trials are said to have demonstrated that people eating enriched chicken for just five weeks have increased levels of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and see measurable effects on their cardiovascular health.

Initial testing was carried out on 30 healthy participants whose omega 3 levels were measured after one, three and five weeks of eating three servings per week of omega 3 enriched chicken meat. On average participants saw their levels of omega 3s increase by 12%.

A total of 10 different new products, including whole chickens, breast fillets and thigh meat went on sale from June 15.

Waitrose is a chain of British supermarkets, which forms the food retail division of Britain’s largest employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership. Its head office is located in Bracknell, Berkshire, England.

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