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OMEGA-3 ENRICHED PRODUCTS FROM ANIMALS FED CHIA DIETS: PRODUCTION AND COMMERCIALIZATION

(April 17, 2002)

 

The production and commercialization of omega-3 fatty acid enriched animal products based on chía seed diets, started with the research and development project called “Northwestern Argentina Regional Project”. The original objective of this project, initiated in 1991, was to identify and put into commercial production new crops that could help diversify agricultural production and increase the income of farmers in northwestern Argentina. Following the start of the project, private and government organizations from the USA and Argentina have worked cooperatively on the project.

The project began with an agreement between Partners of The Americas Inc., a non profit organization located in Washington, D.C., USA, and a group of farmers, mainly tobacco growers, from Argentine northwest. This type of technical cooperation was carried out through the Farmer to Farmer Program, with funds granted by the Congress of the USA (Public Law 480), as part of the 1990-95 Farm Bill.

Later on, The University of Arizona, The University of California, The National University of Catamarca, The Rural Group Pulares and The Government of Salta Province joint the project. Finally, in 1995, four farming organizations of the region also joined the project: the CREA Los Lapachos Group, the Jujuy and Salta Independent Sugar Cane Union Association, the Jujuy Tobacco Growers Cooperative and the Tobaccos Chamber of Jujuy.

Among the most promising species identified by the project, chia (Salvia hispanica L.) was selected as the best, and efforts to place in the market omega-3 fatty acid enriched products using chía began. Different organizations with different economic and intellectual contributions then joined and carried on with this aspect of the project: International Flora Technologies Inc.(Gilbert, Arizona, USA), Apply Resources Inc. (Gilbert, Arizona, USA), Rural Group Pulares (Pulares, Salta, Argentina), Agropecuaria El Valle S.A. (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Partners of The Americas Inc. (Washington, D.C., USA), University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona, USA), and the Agency for the International Development of the Government of the USA.

 

Research and development: past and present

The  scientific and technological development was undertaken by scientists from The University of Arizona, and the agricultural production was carried out by growers from Argentina and Bolivia. These growers formed a company – Functional Products S.A. – located in Salta, Argentina, which was intended to commercialize the chia seed produced in both countries. The research and development activities included chia adaptation to the modern agriculture, determination of the best production areas, agricultural machinery design for each stage of the crop production, seed cleaning and storage practices, as well as product development and commercialization.

The scientific and technical publications and reports that reflect and support some of the main points of this project follow:

 

Referred publications

* Ayerza,R. (h), W. Coates, and M. Lauria. 2002. Chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) as an ω-3 fatty acid source for broilers: influence on fatty acid composition, cholesterol and fat content of white and dark meat, growth performance and sensory characteristics. Poultry Science (Accepted).

* Ayerza, R. (h) and W. Coates. 2002. Dietary evels of chia: influence on hen weight, egg production and sensory quality, for two strains of hens. British Poultry Science (Accepted).

* Ayerza, R. (h) and W. Coates. 2001. The omega-3 enriched eggs: the influence of dietary linolenic fatty acid source combination on egg production and composition. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 81(3):355-362.

* Ayerza, R. (h). 2000. Huevos enriquecidos en acidos grasos omega-3. Selecciones Avicolas, Real Escuela de Avicultura, Barcelona, España, 62(9):541-545. (Spanish).

* Ayerza, R. (h). 1999. Omega-3 fatty acid enriched eggs: adventage of chia over other raw material. Bioresources Research Facility, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, 13 p.

* Ayerza, R. (h). 1995. Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) from Five Northwestern Locations in Argentina. Journal of The American Oil Chemists’ Society, 72:1079-1081.

* Ayerza, R. (h) and W. Coates. 2000. Dietary levels of chia:influence on yolk cholesterol, lipid content and fatty acid composition, for two strains of hens. Poultry Science, 78:724-739.

* Ayerza, R. (h), and W. Coates. 1999. An omega-3 fatty acid enriched chia diet: its influence on egg fatty acid composition, cholesterol and oil content. Canadian Journal of Animal Science,79:53-58.

* Ayerza, R. (h), and W. Coates. 1996. New Industrial Crops: Northwestern Argentina Regional Project. Pages 45-51 in Progress in New Crops edited by J. Janick, ASHS Press, Alexandria, Virginia., USA

* Coates, W. and R. Ayerza (h). 1998. Commercial production of chia in Northwestern Argentina. Journal of The American Chemists’ Society, 75(10):1417-1420.

* Coates, W. and R. Ayerza (h). 1996. Production potential of chia in Northwestern Argentina. Industrial Crops and Products, 5:229-233.

 

Other publications

* Ayerza, R, (h) et W. Coates. 2001. Semence de chia: une source naturelle d`acides gras omega-3, antioxydants, et fibre diététique. Centre du Sud-Ouest pour les Produits Naturels Recherche et Commercialisation., Le Bureau d́Étude des Régions Arides, L’Université d’Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 17 p. (French & English version).

* Ayerza, R, (h) and W. Coates. 2000. Influence of chia on total fat, cholesterol, and fatty acid profile of Holstein coẃs mil. Southwest Center for Natural Products Research & Commercialization, Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 15 p.

* Ayerza, R. (h). 2000. Omega-3 fatty acid enriched eggs: advantage of chia over other raw materials. Southwest Center for Natural Products Research & Commercialization, Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 20 p.

 

Spreading the knowledge

In addition to refereed publications, results from this project have been presented and discussed since 1993, in the following forums and scientific conferences:

* Ayerza, R. (h). 1993. Commercial production of chia (Salvia hispanica L.). Annual Meeting, The Association for The Advancement of Industrial Crops, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 22 p.

* Coates, W. and R. Ayerza (h). 1995. Research and commercialization of chia in Northwestern Argentina Regional Project. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, Indianapolis, USA, 14 p.

* Ayerza, R. (h). and W. Coates. 1995. Northwestern Argentina Regional Project. Abstracts of The Third National Symposium in New Crops: New Oportunities, New Technologies, Indianapolis, USA, 66 p.

* Coates, W. and R. Ayerza (h). 1996. Production Potential of Chia in Northwestern Argentina: 1996 Results. Abstracts of The Annual Meeting of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, San Antonio, Texas, USA, p.11.

* Ayerza, R. (h). 1996. Seed yield, oil content and fatty acid composition of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) grown in Argentina and Columbia. Abstracts of the Third European Symposium on Industrial Crops and Products. Elsevier Science, Reims, Francia, 1 p.

* Ayerza, R. (h). and W. Coates. 1997. Selection and development of chia cultivars: initial results. Abstracts of The Annual Meeting of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, Saltillo, México, p.50.

* Ayerza, R. (h). 2000. Chia, a new source of omega-3 fatty acids: from research to commercialization. Abstracts of The Annual Meeting of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, p.23.

* Ayerza, R. (h). and W. Coates. 2001. Chia seeds: natural source of ω-3 fatty acids. Abstracts of The Annual Meeting of The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, p.17.

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