Expert warns: Omega-3 fatty acids can be greatly affected by storage conditions

Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Chemistry – Metallurgical Engineering Department of Food Engineering faculty members and ITUNOVA Technology conducted a study titled “The Effect of Packaging and Encapsulation on the Oxidative and Sensory Stability of Omega-3 Supplements”, based on the increasing prevalence of Omega-3 consumption due to its positive effects on human health.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly sensitive to oxidation, can be greatly affected by storage conditions. At this point, the product form emerges. The study investigated the fatty acid composition, oxidative stability and sensory properties of different Omega-3 products with different packaging types, the most preferred syrup, capsule and chewable tablet.

Specimens were kept during the study as recommended for storage under realistic conditions at room temperature and in the dark. To mimic consumer use, 5 ml syrup samples and one capsule and chewable tablet per day were used regularly.

Syrup bottles can become bitter and spoiled from the moment they are opened.

Fish oil has a unique EPA and News Agency content, but these omega-3 fatty acids are the most susceptible to oxidation. Once opened, bottles of fish oil supplements undergo a process called “oxidation,” which begins when it comes into contact with oxygen in the air, leading to spoilage problems. At the end of this process, taste and odor deterioration occurs in fish oil. At the end of the approximately 50-day study, omega-3 fatty acids in syrup form were determined to be the most susceptible form to oxidation.

At the scientific meeting on children’s health where the study was discussed, the experts made evaluations of the research presented orally.

“While doing something good with nutritional supplements shouldn’t destroy it at the same time”

Among these experts were Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Infection, Lecturer Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara said, “While you’re doing something good with nutritional supplements, it shouldn’t destroy it at the same time.” Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara said: “We must not forget that our immune system – against both infectious agents and some chronic diseases – has certain needs to ensure that our immune system provides the response we want. At this point, it is very important that our immunity is ready for the continuation of health, both in childhood and later in life. We can meet this preparation with our daily healthy and balanced diet.”

“Food supplements are subject to change of taste and odor when they come into contact with air”

Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Children’s Health and Diseases, Lecturer Prof. Dr. Ayper Somer: “Food supplements, when consumed it is important in which environment it is stored or how much it comes into contact with the air. Because they are exposed to changes in taste and smell with the effect of these factors. After that, kids may not want to consume these supplements,” he said.

At this point, he emphasized that we also need nutritional supplements because of the changes in our diet due to the change in living conditions in recent years.

“Due to changing living conditions in recent years, we have switched to nutritional supplements”

“The basis of medical education is based on the principle of ‘primum non nocere / do no harm first’, especially as physicians who deal with pediatric health, we should pay more attention,” said Uzm. Dr. Cihan Avaroğlu, regardless of the drug or dietary supplement, stated that a product’s sealed packaging alone is not enough to have proper certification; “It is important that the criteria specified in the production controls are also maintained until the end user completes the product.”

“Let’s look at the labels of dietary supplements, pay attention to their content, quantity and storage conditions”

Prof. Dr. Ates Kara, Prof. Dr. Ayper Somer and Exp. Dr. Cihan Avaroğlu emphasized that dietary supplements are used to fix things and said, “The products we use should not break down or cause harm while doing some good. Therefore, the most rational way is to produce supplements that the child will like to taste and consume easily.”

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