World's first Omega 3 chicken goes on sale
The new products – including whole chickens, breast fillets and thigh meat – are sourced from chickens fed on a diet containing algae, which is naturally rich in omega-3.
The company has teamed up with Moy Park to ensure that the chickens are reared to a bespoke set of welfare standards, which include plenty of natural light and more space to roam than the industry norm.
Waitrose claimed that the taste and appearance of the chicken is the same as birds reared on a conventional diet, but boasts the added benefits on heart, brain and eyesight function that are associated with omega-3 intake.
The project, which has taken a decade to bring to market, was inspired by concerns that consumers were not incorporating enough omega-3 into their diets – particularly children, who often do not like oily fish.
Research undertaken in 2013 showed that people with high levels of omega-3 experienced a 40% reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths compared to people with the lowest levels – but less than one-quarter of adult consumers manage to consume the recommended intake of omega-3.
Prof Chris Elliott of Queen’s University Belfast said that incorporating an additional source of omega-3 would help to reduce the £10 billion-a-year bill of dealing with the fallout from heart disease in the UK alone. ■