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A Plant-based Source of Omega-3s
Latitude™ is a new source of omega-3 fatty acids that are critical to the growth and health of fish. A sustainable alternative to fish oil, Latitude™ provides the essential omega-3s through a new variety of canola developed to meet the growing global demand for fish. It ensures a predictable supply and price of this key nutrient in aqua feed, while building a sustainable value chain from Montana’s canola farmers to consumers of the most efficient protein source around the world.
“What a scientific feat that we've been able to now grow a plant that has the ocean in it.”
– Dean Threthewey, Seawater Production Director, Grieg Seafood
More than 10 years ago, BASF Plant Science, a German global company, approached us with an idea.
BASF had developed the technology to combine genetic materials from plants and algae with canola to produce a new canola variety that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They sought to partner with us to test and market it.
With Cargill’s expertise in canola breeding and specialty oil production, combined with our aquaculture business, we immediately recognized the many, far-reaching benefits an omega-3 canola would have for crop and fish farmers, the wild fish population and our oceans, as well as the growing number of consumers around the world who seek fish protein.
We tested many varieties of omega-3 canola to arrive at the best performing variety, which was developed in Montana for its growing conditions. Today, Montana farmers there are growing this omega-3 canola as a rotation crop, providing the specialty oilseeds that become the omega-3-rich canola oil that is Latitude™.
“Our job out here is to feed the world.” – Mitch Konen, Great Falls, MT
Latitude™ is an omega-3-rich canola oil that benefits many:
- As an alternative omega-3 source, Latitude™ helps alleviate the pressure on wild forage fish that’s caught to produce fish oil. In fact, 1 cup of Latitude™ has as much omega-3 fatty acids as 200 anchovies.
- Latitude™ contains the same omega-3 fatty acids as those derived from fish oil. Salmon fed aqua feed with Latitude™ grow as quickly and as well as those fed with feed containing fish oil, tests show. And, both salmon groups provide the same nutritional benefits to consumers.
- As an oil, Latitude™ can easily replace or blend with fish oil in aqua feed manufacturing without producers changing their equipment or process. And, many feed formulations already contain canola oil as an ingredient so the taste will remain the same.
- Latitude™ can ensure a predictable supply and pricing of omega-3s for aqua feed. A volatile and increasingly constrained supply of fish oil has raised costs and led feed producers to lower by half the level of EPA and DHA omega-3s in their formulation over 10 years (2006-2015).
Sustaining Our Future
Latitude™ ensures a sustainable value chain that has far-reaching implications for many:
- The new omega-3 canola provides Montana farmers an alternative rotational crop that strengthens their income and improves soil health. It also offers growers a guaranteed market with a competitive return on investment.
- A plant-based alternative source of omega-3s can alleviate pressures on ocean fish stocks and improve their sustainability.
- Latitude™ can sustain the fast growth of aquaculture to meet global consumers’ continuing demand for fish protein, which nearly doubled between 2005 and 2016 (Rabobank, FAO). Already, aquaculture produces half of the world’s fish production, and by 2030, that’s projected to climb to 75 percent of the world’s fish production, with the remaining 25 percent coming from wild catch.
- Consumers know that the farmed fish they eat are rich in omega-3s and are raised with minimal impact on the ocean’s wild fish stock.