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Fisheries and Aquaculture
May 4, 2010

Research Project to Focus on Blending Omega-3 Oils with Green Tea

The Provincial Government will invest up to $10,000 in research at Memorial University on the use of seal and fish oil derivatives in green tea formulations. The main purpose of the project is to promote further usage and commercial application of seal and fish oil. The project will use green tea derivatives blended with marine-based omega-3 oils to evaluate commercial use of the products as functional food ingredients. As well, the work will promote the province's research capability in the field of nutrition and health aspects of marine oil and lipids. It will also provide an important opportunity to bring this body of research to a pre-commercialization stage.

"This work will promote further usage and commercial application of omega-3 derivatives prepared in blended food products," said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. "Our government has always supported full utilization of the seal resource. This is an important opportunity to provide for new and potentially high-value uses for seal oil products."

Green tea extracts contain chemicals that have a variety of positive physiological effects. While green tea components have been widely studied, this research will investigate the use of green tea blended with marine-based fatty acids, providing an effective means of expanding applications into more diverse projects, having improved health benefits.

The research will examine subsequent applications of these blends in other health foods, cosmetics and natural health products. It will include evaluation of the economics of the process and how green tea Omega-3 products may have positive impacts on certain cancers, viruses and other inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi of Memorial University is the project leader. He and the other project team members have a long history in the field of research on marine oil and seal products. They are considered pre-eminent leaders in this area.

"Continued development of the products and services offered by our province's sealing industry is a priority of the Williams Government," said Minister Jackman. "My department looks forward to working with Dr. Shahidi and his team at the university."

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Media contact:
Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 690-8403

2010 05 04                                      9:30 a.m.

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