Marshall, Minn. — Omega-3 fatty acids are popular with health-savvy consumers. Research shows they help reduce inflammation and may lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

But for a food processor, it’s confusing to know what omega-3 claims can be made on a food label.

To help, AURI has collected information on omega-3 and developed a claims guide. “There’s been increased interest in omega-3 fatty acids from food processors who are looking for ways to make healthier products,” says Carissa Nath, AURI meat scientist. “We put this together to help Minnesota businesses that want to make claims know what they can and can’t say.”

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential — necessary for human health. But since the human body doesn’t make them, they have to enter the body through food. The fatty acids are found in fish, such as salmon, tuna and halibut, and in some plants and oils such as flax. A polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 plays a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.

AURI’s Omega-3 Claims Guide contains general information about the fatty acids, what the potential health benefits are, requirements for health claims, recommended daily intake, and foods that are supplemented with omega-3.

The guide is available on AURI’s web site: www.auri.org.