Waitrose is to introduce the UK’s “first omega 3 chicken” in a move which it says is “groundbreaking” for a British supermarket.
The omega 3 chicken, which Waitrose will put on sale for the first time tomorrow, is being produced for the supermarket by Moy Park on family farms in Northern Ireland, according to Waitrose’s “bespoke high welfare standards”.
“That includes plenty of natural light and more space than the industry standards allowing the birds to display natural behaviour,” said Waitrose. “The chicken is enriched by feeding the birds on a diet containing an algae, the family of aquatic plants that includes kelp and seaweed, which are naturally rich in omega 3. The taste and appearance of the chicken is the same as birds reared on a conventional diet.”
The innovation has been brought to market by Waitrose in partnership with Moy Park and the animal nutrition specialists, Devenish Nutrition.
“The project, which has taken a decade to bring to market, came about as a result of concerns within the medical community that consumers were not including enough sources of omega 3 in their diets,” said Waitrose, adding that despite authorities recommending the regular consumption of foods containing omega 3, research suggests that only 23% of the UK’s adult population consumes the recommended intake.
“It’s costing £10 billion a year to deal with problems of heart disease in the UK and having a source of omega 3 in our diet has the potential for healthier hearts,” commented Queen’s University Belfast’s Professor Chris Elliott, Pro vice chancellor, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences.
University College Dublin’s Professor Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health, added: “This is going to revolutionise nutrition. The idea that you can make an everyday product healthier suggests you could have a huge impact on health.”
A total of 10 different new products, including whole chickens, breast fillets and thigh meat will go on sale in Waitrose from tomorrow, June 15.