Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Today’s article deals with the topic of essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids. In the case of these fatty acids, the crux is the addition of the word “essential”, which means that they are nutrients that we need to take in because our body is incapable of producing them on its own from other substances. At the same time, however, it relies on their presence in order to function ideally.
In this article, we provide a small overview of the various kinds of unsaturated fatty acids there are, explain how we obtain the fatty acids and give information on the important factors involved in handling these substances in such a way that their quality is ensured.
The abbreviation PUFA stands for polyunsaturated fatty acids. The human body is capable of independently producing nearly all of the fatty acids it needs, with linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, being the exceptions to this rule. Both need to be ingested with food, and are therefore referred to as “essential fatty acids”.
Though not essential, two other kinds of fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), make it into the discussion. These two fatty acids are especially prevalent in fish and algae and are synthesized from alpha-linoleic acid, but in such a small amount that an additional intake makes sense in a “normal” diet. The daily requirement of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is 200 mg. To enable the body to synthesize this content, a sufficient amount of alpha-linoleic acid is required. With a conversion rate of alpha-linoleic acid to DHA of 2.2%, at least 9 g of alpha-linoleic acid should be consumed per day. <sup 1,2,3> This amount is contained as a minimum in all variants of BERTRAND. If you consume other powdered food, please make sure that at least 9 g of omega-3 fatty acids are specified in the nutritional values, provided that DHA and EPA are not contained as individual ingredients.
Fats in BERTRAND
We at BERTRAND refrain from using pre-processed lipid carriers to obtain unsaturated fatty acids. Unfortunately, the processing of nuts and oilseeds that come from by-products of edible oil production has become almost fully established in the production of powders. Linseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and more are pressed almost completely. What remains is a solid press cake that is then ground and used, among other things, in the production of nutritional powders. The only advantage of these powders is that they can be bought at low prices. The disadvantages include a loss of fatty acids as well as, for example, phytochemicals. At the same time, the remaining fatty acids are exposed to oxygen for weeks, which in turn promotes oxidation.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids react to light and oxygen with oxidation, which causes them to form hydroperoxides that may have a damaging effect on health.
We reject this standard in the obtainment of fatty acids for BERTRAND.
We process linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds as whole fruits or seeds along with all the valuable nutrients they contain. Linseeds and sunflower seeds are finely ground shortly before the mixing and filling process. This also has the advantage of effectively protecting the sensitive fatty acids from oxidation and maintaining high quality as a result.