Development of a position on functional foods to support the Seafood CRC workshop and potential rebid for funds for Program 3 (Health benefits of Seafood)
This project was designed to assist the Australian Seafood CRC identify research gaps and opportunities and ultimately provide the necessary background information and rationale for a potential supplementary bid to DIISR for funding of a new program of health related research.
The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website and websites for the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare and the US Food and Drug Administration were the major sources of information regarding health claims for Australia, Japan and the US. Japan and the US were included in this report as they are two key export markets for the Australian Seafood industry. Examples of seafoods, using specific seafoods of interest to the Seafood CRC were modeled for nutrition content and general level health claims. A brief review of the potential mechanisms of some of the observed health effects of fish and omega-3 fatty acids was undertaken.
The research described in this report found that one of the important mechanisms for the observed widespread effect of seafoods on a range of health outcomes (such as coronary heart disease, cancer, arthritis, dementia) is the dampening of the inflammatory response by the 2 key bioactives in seafood, namely the long chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). However there are other bioactives in fish worth exploring further. Several research gaps were identified as part of this project and these are outlined in the report.
Potential collaborators or partners beyond the current CRC members and affiliates were identified and have been included in the body of the report, as are some early suggestions for alternative funding and funding models.