The Challenges of Incorporation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Into Ration Components and Their Prevalence in Garrison Feeding

By: Davis BA, Prall BC
Publication Name: Military Medicine
Year: 2014

Increasingly, private and military consumers are becoming aware of the positive benefits of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) as health claims range from reducing inflammation to improving mood. The number of positive scientific articles supporting these claims is rapidly increasing, leading the military to examine the possibility of omega-3 supplementation for personnel. A variety of menus used either in shipboard or garrison feeding include fatty fishes that are rich in omega-3 FAs. However, omega-3 FAs have shelf-stability issues because of their susceptibility to oxidize; therefore, they create a challenge in terms of incorporation into ration components in nutritionally significant amounts. As a result, the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate is investigating methods, technologies, and emerging products for incorporation of omega-3s into ration components. Based on existing research, fortification of foods with omega-3 FAs would improve nutritional quality as well as provide added benefit to the Warfighters.