Omega-3 fatty acids are considered unsaturated essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health but the body can’t synthesize them: you have to get them through food but they play a crucial role in normal growth and development of human body. Omega-3 fatty acids are predominantly found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils and offer a number of health benefits. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular as they help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least 2 times a week. It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Infants do not get omega-3 oils from their mothers during pregnancy and therefore are subject to high risk of developing vision and nerve problems.
With the huge market potential and the growing preference, the omega-3 and 6 market is likely to witness considerable growth. They can be stored and transported to long distances as well as have shorter cooking time than regular meals. The market has evolved from selling raw foods such as frozen meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits to prepared foods and frozen vegetable mixes and ready meals.
The global omega-3 ingredients market is estimated to reach $3.21 billion in 2016 from $1.48 billion in 2010, at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2011 to 2016. The Asian market is expected to hold 34% of the global market share in 2015 at an estimated CAGR of 15.2% due to higher occurrence rates of cardiovascular diseases in the region. Europe is the fastest growing segment due to the trend of eating healthy and taking precautionary measures. The market share of Europe is expected to boost from $ 311.2 million in 2010 to $ 771.8 million in 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 15.8%.
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