GOED News Alerts: Analysis on events affecting EPA and DHA Markets

EFSA Publishes Opinion on Health Benefits of Seafood Consumption

July 15: Following the news last month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its updated advice on seafood consumption for pregnant women, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its “Scientific Opinion on health benefits of seafood (fish and shellfish) consumption in relation to health risks associated with exposure to methylmercury.” EFSA has similarly concluded that children and adults alike should try to consume at least two servings of seafood per week.
In its opinion, EFSA:
  • Reviewed the role of seafood in European diets
  • Evaluated the beneficial effects of seafood consumption in relation to health outcomes and population subgroups previously identified by the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption and/or the CONTAM Panel as relevant for the assessment. These include the effects of seafood consumption during pregnancy on children’s neurodevelopment, and the effects of seafood consumption on cardiovascular disease risk in adults.
  • Addressed which nutrients in seafood may contribute to the beneficial effects of seafood consumption
  • Considered whether the beneficial effects of seafood consumption could be quantified. 

EFSA concluded the following:
  • Seafood is a source of energy and protein with high biological value, and contributes to the intake of essential nutrients, such as iodine, selenium, calcium, and vitamins A and D, with well-established health benefits. Seafood also provides n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), and is a component of dietary patterns associated with good health.
  • Most European Food-Based Dietary Guidelines recommend (a minimum of) two servings of fish per week for older children, adolescents, and adults to ensure the provision of key nutrients, especially n-3 LCPUFA, but also vitamin D, iodine and selenium. Recommendations for children and pregnant women refer to the type of fish and are also based on safety considerations, i.e. presence of contaminants. Seafood provides the recommended amounts of n-3 LCPUFA in most of the European countries considered.
  • Consumption of about 1-2 servings of seafood per week and up to 3-4 servings per week during pregnancy has been associated with better functional outcomes of neurodevelopment in children compared to no seafood. Such amounts have also been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in adults and are compatible with current intakes and recommendations in most of the European countries considered. No additional benefits on neurodevelopmental outcomes and no benefit on CHD mortality risk might be expected at higher intakes.
  • The observed health benefits of seafood consumption during pregnancy may depend on the maternal status with respect to nutrients with an established role in the development of the central nervous system of the foetus (e.g. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and iodine) and on the contribution of seafood (relative to other food sources) to meet the requirements of such nutrients during pregnancy. No effect of these nutrients on functional outcomes of children’s neurodevelopment is expected when maternal health benefits of seafood (fish and shellfish) consumption requirements are met. The health benefits of seafood consumption in reducing the risk of CHD mortality are probably owing to the content of n-3 LCPUFA in seafood.
  • Quantitative benefit analyses of seafood consumption during pregnancy and children’s neurodevelopmental outcomes, and of seafood consumption in adulthood and risk of CHD mortality, have been conducted, but are generally hampered by the heterogeneity of the studies that have investigated such relationships.
GOED reported on this previously in a February 2013 News Alert.

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Don't Forget about the SupplySide West Editor's Choice Awards

The third annual SupplySide CPG Editor's Choice Awards competition is still open for nominations. If your company or one of your customers has introduced an innovative omega-3 finished product, click here to nominate the product. Entry deadline is July 31.

Membership Update

July 1 — GOED welcomes five new companies to its membership, Aroma NZ, ECA Healthcare, Praj Industries, Southernature and Vitafoods International.

Aroma NZ Ltd. is a New Zealand-based company producing omega-3 rich greenshell mussel extracts, and joined at the Plus level. The main contact is Ben Winters, who can be reached at BenJr@aromanz.com.

Joining at the Base level is ECA Healthcare, a supplier of omega-3 fish and algal products. The main contact is Jiang Su, who can be reached at jiang.su@ecahealthcare.com.

Praj Industries, which joined as a Plus level member, is an Indian bioprocess and enrichment company for the omega-3 industry. The main contact is Vinaay Upadhyay, who can be reached at vinaayupadhyay@praj.net.

Southernature, an Australian consumer products company, joined at the Base level. The main contact is Vincent Tai, who can be reached at vtai@tasmanpacificholding.com.

Vitafoods International, a trade events company, has joined GOED at the Affiliate level. The main contact is Nimet Gunes, who can be reached at nimet.gunes@informa.com.

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