Aquaculture for all

Breakthrough for omega-3 canola


A strain of canola which contains long-chain omega-3s has now been submitted for regulatory approval in Australia, with submissions in the US and Canadia anticipated to be filed later this month.

The strain has been developed by Nuseed, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nufarm Ltd, who expect commercialisation of the strian – which they aim to use in aquafeeds and human nutrition – to commence in 2018 or 2019.

“Reaching these regulatory milestones in all three countries gives us both timing and location options as we commercialise canola based long-chain omega-3,” says Brent Zacharias, Nuseed Group Executive.

Nuseed’s proprietary canola will provide long-chain omega-3 oils, similar to those found in fish oil, using a sustainable land-based source. It has been developed through collaboration between Nuseed, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

“These submissions reflect our confidence in and commitment to the science, safety and global potential of our omega-3 program,” says Zacharias.

The regulatory submissions are being made to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) in Australia; to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada in Canada; and to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA.

The company also announced commercial brands for the resulting oil product, specific to key enduse markets; Aquaterra for aquaculture feed uses, and Nutriterra for human nutrition application.

Long-chain omega-3 DHA and EPA are essential for human and fish health. This new proprietary product aims to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current source for this important nutrient. By providing a proven land-based source of these oils, Nuseed will help maintain adequate supply to meet strongly increasing global demand. It is anticipated that one hectare of this canola has the potential to provide the omega-3 yield from 10,000 kilograms of fish.

The unique profile of the Nuseed oil ensures that it will easily fit with current market practices and meet the needs of multiple end-market applications on a commercially viable basis.

The crop will be produced under a closed-loop grain handling and oil processing system. In 2017 Nuseed intends to grow up to 4,000 acres of omega-3 canola in the US for pre-commercial production under the stewardship of the USDA notification process.