Background: The addition of different bioactive compounds is one of the current methods for producing functional foods. Omega-3 fatty acids can be incorporated into new products in the field of medical and health foods. The human body cannot produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) directly; they must be taken in through food or formed by metabolic reactions of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Current food habits have caused a considerable reduction in the daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids to less than the recommended amounts, and as a result, the need to enrich food with omega-3 fatty acids is increasing. Several technologies such as microencapsulation can prevent omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation and development of fishy flavors, increase food shelflife and improve the fortification of foods with these fatty acids.
Objective: This review discusses fortification of foods with omega-3 fatty acids with emphasis on microencapsulation as an addition method.
Conclusion: By encapsulating omega-3 fatty acids, loss of these fatty acids during storage time decreases; however, due to changes in texture and color in products like bread, a suitable solution should be considered. Although the technologies used are adequate, low-cost methods should be developed and there should be more efforts to maximize the stability of omega-3 fatty acids for extensive use in the food industry.
Keywords: Enrichment, fatty acid, fortification, food, microencapsulation, Omega-3.